The Agri-Entrepreneur (AE) Enterprise platform aims to optimize all processes, from the selection of an AE leading up to their day-to-day business activities and farmer interactions. It will lead to faster scaling up, adding greater transparency and facilitating the creation of networks for seamless knowledge transfer. The platform is expected to make the process efficient in farmer profiling, capturing training outcomes, demand generation, transactions, monitoring and evaluation. It also helps in contributing towards analyzing big data in agriculture, thus facilitating efficient decision- making.
The AE Enterprise platform is visualized as a tool to be used by the project officers, AE mentors and the AEs. The primary users, of course, will be AEs, who will utilize it in their day-to-day activities and also in planning various operations such as input demand management and market linkages. Small and marginal farmers will be the end beneficiaries of the platform.
The platform provides solutions to nine critical stages, from on-boarding an AE to the final dissemination of services to the farmers. These stages can be classified as: screening and selection; learning and development; incubation of AE businesses; data consolidation; farmer training; crop planning; loans and credit linkage; marketing of agriculture produce, and obtaining technology infrastructure.
There is a strong need to change farmers’ attitudes – from viewing agriculture merely as a subsistence occupation to embracing the opportunities agricultures offers to fundamentally improve income levels. As beneficiaries of the AE Enterprise platform, farmers will receive the benefits of information-sharing in their regional languages, interactive video content for technical training sessions and motivational training, exposing them to success stories that are materializing around them every day. The platform thus creates a network of information, buyers, sellers and advisors for the farmers.
One of the important purposes of deploying the state-of-the-art IT platform is to seamlessly collect data at different stages of farming. Intelligent analytics carried out on the data will help in negotiations with the agri-value chain players with an aim to increase farmer income by leveraging the aggregation concepts.
The platform is currently in a stage of iteration to prepare it for a final launch, expected in mid-2018; a successful beta test was run in December, 2017, on the selection process of AEs in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.
The platform will connect over 50 Project Officers with 314 AEs, thus effectively serving over 30,000 farmers. These figures are likely to rise significantly by the end of 2018, with a total number of 500 AEs reaching out to 100,000 farmers.