Mumbai, Maharashtra, India | 9th December 2020: With the reforms in the agricultural sector and introduction of Farmers Act 2020, Government of India has boosted the overall growth of the sector by building infrastructure and supply chains for farm produce in national and global markets. This will benefit small farmers who aren’t able to bargain for their produce and get a better price or invest in technology to improve the productivity of their farms. The Act will also allow them to sell their produce outside APMC ‘Mandis‘ and to enter into a contract with agri-business firms or large retailers on pre-agreed prices of their produce.
More than one-fifth of the exports of India originate from Gujarat but COVID-19 pandemic has set an unprecedented disruption to the global economy and world trade, as production and consumption are scaled back across the globe. The ongoing crisis threatens undoing decades of development progress in poverty and hunger alleviation, challenging food production across the globe and hitting hard the small-scale farmers, who provide more than half of the Indian food supplies. Seeing the deplorable plight of the farmers at his native village, Amreli in Gujarat, Mr. Hiren Kachariya decided to support them, through his unique concept of “Virtual Mandi” and launched HirenBhai.com.
Founded in 2020, HirenBhai.com has collaborated with more than 1500 farmers within two months of its launch and has been able to help the farmers by providing them an online platform to sell their produce to agri-business firms, international exporters or large retailers on pre-agreed prices of their produce, at the click of a button, without the involvement of any middlemen. The pandemic is fast tracking digital transformation for agri-businesses across the world to stay competitive and equipped for future. HirenBhai.com, has thus been pivotal in uniting entire agricultural community at Gujarat under one roof to support the local farmers.
“Farmers have been true heroes during the pandemic and we must do everything to support the people who produce our food. Our team at HirenBhai.com believe that every farmer – regardless of size of their farm – deserves a life wherein they not only feed the country but also able to feed their families and develop as a community. Our focus is to onboard at least 50,000 farmers in the coming year and partner with global companies who can provide competitive process to the farmers,” said Mr. Hiren Kachariya, Co-founder and CEO of HirenBhai.com.
The company has now secured a INR 1.1 million Series A round, which is led by 3EA Limited. HirenBhai.com will use the funding to accelerate its ability to build up essential value-add processing infrastructure in Gujarat, to accelerate the growth of its full-farm extension services for small farm holders, and connect these farmers to large-scale agribusinesses and food processors seeking hassle-free sourcing, as well as to further their seed breeding programme.
“With this investment, we are entering a new phase of rapid growth driven by global value chains and superior service to our suppliers and customers. However, Gujarat’s full agricultural potential remains largely untapped due to supply chain challenges and low processing capacity which is the challenge that we are looking to overcome in next two-three financial years. What we do now to protect the farmers will have long term implications for food security in the years to come. We are excited that our investment will support the growth of HirenBhai.com, and we look forward to working with the team on this journey,” said Dr. Vibhor Misra, CEO of 3EA Limited.
With a mission to accelerate the digital revolution of the agronomic sector that can meet rising demand for high-quality produce with verifiable sustainability, HirenBhai.com fascinates some of the superlative young minds by providing challenging and exciting new career opportunities in the ag-tech sector. The unique business model coupled with an exceptional team is helping HirenBhai.com to address many of the critical issues faced by the local farmers at Gujarat. This includes providing access to credit, inputs, critical technical services, and market linkages in a way that benefits smallholder farmers and promotes sector growth. HirenBhai.com is truly living up to the expectations, as promoted by their tagline- “Dil se Gujarati”.