Marketmirchi.com emerges as an online procurement and training facility
The pandemic situation and the lockdown have forced people to adopt the digital highway.
“During these times of COVID-19 pandemic when producers and consumers are finding it difficult to commute and trade, digital technology opens the world of opportunities,” said Shefali Srivastava, Senior Research Fellow with Department of Agricultural Economics, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar.
According to Srivastava, online grocery stores and e-commerce companies are driving sales in urban areas through leverage of digital technologies while ensuring safety in the pandemic situation.
She expects, in rural India, the use of digital platforms to pick up pace too as rural India is now clocking more internet users than in urban areas.
Incidentally, the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in their May 2020 ‘Digital in India’ report has highlighted that internet users in rural areas surpassed those in urban areas for the first time.
Srivastava pointed out how the free online platform, 'Marketmirchi.com', part of Mission Mera Mobile Mera Marketing, is not only being used by start-ups and medium enterprises but also big players like Big Basket and Reliance Retail for their procurement of supplies.
Many field-level programs have been conducted to skill farmers and other rural stakeholders with the use of Marketmirchi.com platform, according to Srivastava.
Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Limited (MKCL) developed videos for the mission to skill farmers and other rural stakeholders with the use of marketmirchi.com.
The videos are being disseminated to farming communities through trainings organized by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) and other institutions, according to Srivastava.
“Farmers have found a much needed platform to market their produce. They find the platform very helpful as it is free and easy-to-use,” said Srivastava.
Mission Mera Mobile Mera Marketing was launched in 2016 as an initiative to facilitate direct market linkage between stakeholders like farmers, agripreneurs, artisans, Self-Help Groups, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and agribusiness companies that are engaged in procurement.
It was the brainchild of Pragati Gokhale, Advisor to Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission, Government of Maharashtra and National Resource Person with the Union Ministry of Rural Development.