Agri Business

Gurugram-based Krishify taps AI, ML to help farmers earn more

Subramani Ra Mancombu | | Updated on: Dec 07, 2021
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The ‘Facebook for farmers’ has 5.5 million active users currently

A Gurugram-based agtech startup platform, Krishfy, is trying to put machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and the Android system to best use for farmers across the country by offering a one-stop solution to improve their economic status.

Terming itself as “Facebook for farmers”, Krishify has grown by 5x in the last six months and currently has 5.5 million farmers active on its platform.

Krishify, which has raised about $3 million funds till now, claims to generate data based on interactions, transactions, and user behaviour. It adopts a data-driven approach to leverage insights from this unstructured data to provide a personalised and unique experience to each user on its platform.

Two major functions

“Farmers are at the centre of this platform and can connect with other farmers, retailers, agriculture scientists and agri-experts. The platform serves two major functions – information exchange and marketplace facilitation,” says Avinash Kumar, Krishify co-founder.

Farmers exchange agricultural know-how and best practices from one another. They also share issues and queries related to crop growth or diseases and receive solutions from their peers. Similarly, if an agricultural scientist has conducted some research, then the findings and information is shared on the platform.

“Farmers even exchange mandi (agri-market terminal) rates or even weather-related information,” he said. Krishify’s marketplace can be for peer-to-peer sales, where farmers buy crops, cattle, or machinery amongst themselves.

The online marketplace, Kumar said, helps sellers to create online shops for their products and connect them with the buyers. However, quality assurance and payments are done off-line.

Tech backup

The agtech platform’s growth has been supported by a robust technology backup from Amazon Web Services (AWS), which manages its services and serverless architecture such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (EKS) and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS). “The support has helped our platform to scale-up to meet the demand in a short period even while maintaining the same costs,” said Taranjeet S, Head of Engineering, Krishify.

Launched in 2019 to set up a niche network for farmers to solve a number of their problems, Krishify currently is targeted more at the Hindi-speaking States on the Android platform.

“Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Gujarat make use of our platform,” said Manish Agarwal, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Krishify.

Krishify’s latest growth phase has been driven by innovative customer offerings led by artificial intelligence and machine learning. “Using solutions such as Amazon SageMaker, Krishify is able to offer a personalised experience, improve fraud detection, enhance computer vision, detect natural language processing, and build a better network for farmers,” the firm’s CTO said.

Customer retention

AWS has helped Krishify with its solutions such as Amazon SageMaker to improve fraud detection, enhance quality checks using AI and ML models and also diseases in crops, besides helping in physical verification.

“Our vision is to create a community and ecosystem for farmers and agricultural professionals in the country. The aim is to build context driven models and content in other Indian languages as and when the user base grows,” the CTO said.

Krishify’s use of AI for farmers’ personalised experience has resulted in 4-5 per cent increase in customer retention, he said.

One of the features of Krishify’s technology is that it has been able to manage transition to microservices architecture in 15 days, saving 50 per cent costs. Besides Amazon SNS, it has also used another service of AWS called Lambda, which helps handle any amount of traffic and optimize cloud costs. Use of serverless architecture has also helped it 70 per cent costs, Taranjeet said.

Asked about Krishfy’s experiences during the Covid pandemic shutdowns, Agarwal said it helped farmers to source agricultural inputs, while bringing many solutions and produce online.

On the challenges the start-up is facing, Kumar said with Internet penetration improving in the rural areas, farmers are beginning to take advantage of the latest technology. “Though the bandwidth is an issue, it is improving,” he said.

In particular, YouTube and Facebook have helped Krishify reach where it is today.

Agarwal said the startup has targeted to rope in 10 million users by next year by further expanding its footprint.

Published on December 07, 2021

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