India’s Agri-input major Shriram Farm Solutions, which last month launched online sales by partnering with e-commerce platform Plantix, is now contemplating joining hands with multiple partners, its business head and president said.
Sanjay Chhabra told indoasiancommodities.com that even though online sales of agri-inputs were at a nascent stage in the country, they were expected to surge at a brisk pace in the coming years and company would like to optimally use the opportunity to improve its sales.
“We are keen to have more partnerships in that space. Thanks to a growing Internet penetration, reaching out to farmers in rural pockets is not that difficult. And there are specialized agri-input sales platforms which are positioning themselves to reap the benefits of emerging opportunity,” Chhabra said.
Plantix, the first e-commerce collaboration partner of Shriram Farm Solutions — a division of domestic agri powerhouse DCM Shriram — is a subsidiary of an artificial intelligence-based German company which is expanding in India.
While on one hand, the Plantix provides advisory service to farmers through its dedicated app, it also facilitates registration of retail members who can sell agri-input products of different companies.
After the partnership with Shriram Farm Solutions, Plantix retailers can now place orders for its seeds, crop protection and nutrition products directly through a mobile partner app.
Initially, as part of the partnership deal, Shriram Farm Solutions’ products will be made available to farmers in Madhya Pradesh by local partners of Plantix and gradually it will expand to other regions too.
“Covid-led restrictions witnessed in the recent months have also resulted in growing sales of agri-input products through online routes and it will become a robust channel in its own rights going ahead,” Chhabra emphasized.
“There are two kinds of online players which are emerging in the space – retailer to farmer segment and wholesaler to retailer domain. Latter would be growing at a much faster pace since last mile delivery would be an issue for online players. For any e-commerce platform, having local retailers or distributors as their partners would be more convenient,” he pointed out.
Online agri-input sales through dedicated platforms is beginning to see action. Late last month Agribazaar, one of the leading agri-business platforms in the country, had also announced adding input product sales to its platform in three categories – crop protection, crop nutrition, and seeds.