The Government of Andhra Pradesh and Mastercard has introduced e-Rythu (e-farmer in Telugu), a mobile platform that digitizes agriculture marketplaces, payments, workflows, and provides farmers an easy and secure way to buy, sell and receive payments for agricultural products via their feature phones.

It will help small-scale farmers looking to sell their produce to connect with the right buyers more efficiently in local language and receive the best possible prices. The platform has been developed by Mastercard Labs for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, Kenya and customized for India use by the Labs team based at Pune.

Due to the small scale, and long travel distance from the places where they sell, most of the small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh suffer income losses. Additionally, since these farmers do not have a formal credit history, it is difficult for them to access any formal financial services.

e-Rythu will bring a positive change to the lives of over one million small and medium farmers in Andhra Pradesh by allowing them direct access to markets on the platform, discover the best price of their crops and receive digital payments for what they sell.  The platform also creates a digital transaction history, which allows farmers to receive formal credit from banks and other financial institutions.

The project will kick off with one large buyer, Lawrencedale Agro Processing India Ltd (LEAF) and four FPOs, namely LEAF Lambasinghi Horticulture Farmers Producers Co-operative Society Limited, Visakhapatnam, Chicacole Coconut Farmers Producer Company, Srikakulam, Giri Chaitanya Farming and Marketing Mutually Aided Cooperative Society Ltd, Visakhapatnam and Andhra Kashmir Farmers Producer Organization (Grijana Vikas Foundation), Visakhapatnam.