AEGF & Mastercard to launch Bharat Kisan Manch for farmers & rural entrepreneurs
By Gloria Mathias
The Agri Entrepreneur Growth Foundation (AEGF) has collaborated with Mastercard to launch Bharat Kisan Manch, its digital platform to provide millions of Indian farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs with access to markets and formal financial services.
AEGF is an implementation arm of Syngenta Foundation, supported by several other social impact-focused organizations in India. Mastercard Community Pass is designed to overcome infrastructure challenges that arise in digitizing rural communities, such as unreliable connectivity, low smartphone ownership, and lack of consistent identification or credentials.
This collaboration will combine Mastercard’s expertise in technology and digital payments with AEGF’s network of agricultural entrepreneurs in rural areas, to expand farmers’ access to knowledge, products, services, and partnerships. The initiative aims to benefit millions of farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs over the next three years, enabling them to gain easier access to markets and formal financial services.
Rajendra Jog, Executive Director of Syngenta Foundation India, and Director, AEGF, said, “This collaboration between Agri Entrepreneurs Growth Foundation and Mastercard will accelerate the digitization of millions of smallholder farmers and tens of thousands of rural entrepreneurs incubated by the Foundation. This will help the smallholders enhance their income by reducing the input cost and increasing the output price and will provide access to credit and crop advisory, leveraging the Bharat Kisan Man platform.
Tara Nathan, EVP, of Mastercard, said, “Mastercard has been actively working in several countries to digitize agricultural value chains and connect farmers with buyers for the supply and purchase of produce, as well as to provide farmers with greater access to inputs, advisory, and financial services. Community Pass helps farmers generate transaction history and credit-building opportunities, leading to increased farmer inclusion in the formal financial system. This initiative is also in line with the Indian government’s efforts to foster inclusive growth by leveraging technology. This collaboration with AEGF will help build an effective model of agricultural digitization that can serve as a global example.”
The Bharat Kisan Manch platform will be first launched in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and will gradually be taken to all markets in India.
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