Indian farmers go digital

Singapore – 20th April, 2020: Freshstack Technologies, the company behind FarmFirst, India’s leading agri-commodities marketplace, announced today that it will be adopting blockchain technology to allow end-to-end digital trading for its 23,000 farmers and commodity traders. In addition to finding each other and agreeing to do business, buyers and sellers will now be able to create digital contracts and trade documents, exchange purchase orders and invoices, manage financing and logistics, and make payments. The innovation is in line with Freshstack’s vision to support producers across India, as well as internationally, to tackle the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

To make this possible, Freshstack has selected Singapore-based blockchain platform, dltledgers, one of the world’s leaders in digitizing global trade and trade finance. In doing so, Freshstack will become the first marketplace of its kind globally to support end-to-end transactions using blockchain.

 

What makes this possible now is the increasing acceptance of blockchain technology within global trade. There is growing consensus – particularly among banks – that the functionality blockchain provides makes it uniquely suited to managing complex goods shipments, particularly cross border. Commodity transactions invariably involve multiple unconnected parties – buyers, sellers, finance providers, carriers, freight forwarders, insurers, and more. This type of scenario presents challenges – such as data ownership, lack of trust, and inter-enterprise collaboration – to which blockchain is uniquely suited.

 

Founded in 2015, Freshstack is the largest agriculture commodities marketplace in India. The platform functions as an intermediary – connecting farmers to domestic and international wholesalers and traders – somewhat akin to a global farmers market, at which bulk buyers can procure food directly from producers. Over time, it has grown into a one-stop shop for growers to broadcast, negotiate and sell fresh produce to a large, trusted trader base. With thousands of farmers, many of whom publish products daily, Freshstack has revolutionized the agri-commodity import/export sector in India. To date, it has recorded over USD 26 million-worth of trade transactions on the site.

 

Now, to expand operations and scale globally, Freshstack has chosen to partner with dltledgers. Mr. Radhakrishnan, CEO at Freshstack said, “Our aim has always been to facilitate the connection of agri-producers with prospective buyers. Five years later we can proudly say we have a firm footing in pre-trade agri-activities. As we continue to grow, we’re keen on leveraging technology to introduce end-to-end digitized trade. Our partnership with dltledgers finally gives our stakeholders the seamless inter-connectivity between trade cycle stages, which was not possible earlier. Now they will be able to conduct both pre-trade and post-trade operations in a single, trusted ecosystem.”

 

The Freshstack-dltledgers partnership is set to go live imminently. The alliance will see Freshstack’s mobile app and online site fully embedded into dltledgers’ blockchain platform via open API, effectively digitizing the agri-commodity supply chain “from farm to fork”. Once completed, FarmFirst members will be able to participate in a common ecosystem, adding value to the community while benefitting individually from greater market access and visibility.

 

For farmers, this means more control over production planning, marketing their available stock, and negotiating fair pricing with a broader customer base. They will have the option to tap into dltledgers’ panel of finance providers, giving them access competitive funding, and reducing counterparty risk and fraud. Digitizing trade execution is also proven to increase the speed and efficiency of transactions. Recent examples provided by dltledgers show that the manual execution of an agri-commodity trade can take up to a month. Done digitally, these same processes can be completed in less than one working week.

 

On the other side of the trade, buyers will benefit too. Blockchain can dramatically increase the transparency of each transaction, allowing buyers to trace the supply chain of each shipment, prove provenance, record quality checks, and demonstrate ethical and sustainable sourcing practices.

Samir Neji, CEO at dltledgers said, “We’re excited to onboard Freshstack onto our platform along with its large farmer community. We have a strong track record in agri-commodities, with operators like Singapore’s Agrocorp and Cargill in the USA. In the future I believe partnerships like this can improve the way that farm produce is sourced, removing unnecessary administration, and ultimately giving farmers a greater share of revenue. I envision dltledgers as a super-connector in the agri-commodities sector and my hope is to bring together more stakeholders within the supply chain, allowing them to perform every phase of the trade cycle digitally, via a single user interface.”

 

For more information please contact James Green at dltledgers: jamesmg@dlt.sg / +65 9151 5207.

 

About Freshstack Technologies: Freshstack is an agri-commodities platform based in India. It is the parent company of FarmFirst, that opened doors in May 2015. Since then, the platform has recorded over INR 2 Billion worth of sales through the movement of agricultural stock. Currently Freshstack has over 23000 Indian farmers in its customer base who transact with both national and international aggregators to supply fresh produce daily. For more information on Freshstack Technologies, please visit www.freshstack.in

 

About dltledgers: dltledgers is a Singapore-based, cross-border trade execution platform, underpinned by blockchain technology. 400 customers, 50+ banks, and 4,500 network participants are now collaborating on the platform and to date nearly $3 billion-worth of trade transactions have been executed. As well as trade, large enterprises work with dltledgers to digitize supply chains, trace provenance, track shipments, and facilitate supplier financing networks. Among dltledgers’ growing set of key customers are Mitsui, Agrocorp, Shiseido, Wipro Unza, IFFCO, and Africa’s Trade and Development Bank. For more information about dltledgers, please visit dlt.sg.

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