Agri risk management company WRMS says it has started covering the ‘farm level’ financial risks of farmers arising out of events such as adverse weather, pests and diseases among others. The company expects to double farmer enrolments for its SecuFarm solution to more than 50,000 this year.
WRMS Founder and CEO, Anuj Kumbhat, said the farmers following the company’s package of practices for crops such as potato, onion, barley, cotton, wheat and chillies among others will be compensated for any shortfall in yields due to the crop loss on account of adverse climate, pests attacks and diseases.
Smart and sustainable solution
Through its smart and sustainable farming solution SecuFarm, which bundles advanced crop advisory backed by technology, WRMS is giving yield assurance to farmers, Kumbhat said.
Farmers enrolling for the SecuFarm solution will receive timely weather related information on their vernacular app to plan their crop protection and irrigation based on crop health and soil condition, which helps them to optimise water use. Also, they will receive customised solution for optimised use of agro-chemicals. The app also educates farmer on various crop diseases through vernacular audio-visual content and connects with agri experts who answer all their crop related queries, besides providing them solutions within 24 hours, Kumhbat said.
Through SecuFARM app, farmers can access real time data of their farm and crop conditions that’ is generated through IoT sensors, automated weather stations, satellite and drones, and get real time responses in tackling pests, diseases and weather risks. The company is covering the financial risks of the farmers through an insurance cover.
Currently, WRMS is offering its crop advisory and risk management cover to growers of barley and cumin in Rajasthan, in Uttar Pradesh for farmers growing paddy and potato, in Gujarat for groundnut and cumin, and in Haryana for cotton, paddy, wheat and tomato.
In Punjab, growers of wheat and paddy are availing the WRMS crop advisory, while in Jharkhand the tomato and paddy are being covered. Growers of chillies in Andhra Pradesh, cotton and soyabean in Maharashtra and onion in Madhya Pradesh are also being covered.
Kumbhat said the fee charged by WRMS to the farmers for its crop-advisory and risk coverage, depends on the cost of cultivation of the crop. For a crop like barley, which has a low cost of cultivation, the advisory and risk management charges are about ₹1,000 per acre, per season, while the highest is for crops like onion and potato at ₹3,500 per acre per season. For cotton, the charges range from Rs ₹1,500 to ₹2,000 per acre.
While institutional clients like input firms, agri-finance companies and FPOs are helping farmers avail WRMS’ advisory, there is also interest building up at the farmers’ level to cover their farm level risks, Kumbhat said.
WRMS sees the number of farmers enrolling for its SecuFarm solution doubling to more than 50,000 this year. The company is targeting over one million farmers over the next few years across the country.
WRMS, in which agro-chemical giant UPL is an investor, is also planning to go for the next round of funding. “We are planning to raise $10 million to fund the expansion plans,” Kumbhat said.