Agri-products from rural hinterlands are now available on ONDC, the government of India-backed open-protocol e-commerce venture. In partnership with state-backed agriculture development entities such as the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) and more, ONDC is onboarding farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) into its network of sellers.
According to T Koshy, Chief Executive Officer at the ONDC, around 380 FPO organisations are at various stages of integration with the platform, on the supplier side. 80 FPOs are already live, thus consumers living in metropolitans can access farm produce directly from distant cultivators. Products include pickles, seeds, mushrooms and more.
An FPO is a legal consortium of primary producers, in this case, farmers that create a sort of cooperative society to sell there products. ONDC has set up a small team to collaborate with NABARD and SFAC to onboard these FPOs onto the platform.
ONDC initiated conversations with NABARD last year, but most of FPO integrations have happened over the past two months. “We want to onboard the digitally literate producers onto our platform,” Koshy said. ONDC is working in collaboration with organisations like NABARD to raise digital awareness among producers to integrate with the platform, he said.
ONDC is a first-of-its-kind e-commerce application that runs on open network protocols in all aspects of the chain of trade activities. Its aim is to democratise e-commerce by standardising operations like cataloging, inventory management, order management, and order fulfilment. Thus, small businesses would be able to use any ONDC-compatible applications instead of being governed by specific platform-centric policies.
The onboarding of FPOs will these farmer organisations to reach out to their buyers in any part of the country. It is in line with the Centre’s objective of providing growers with better market access while ensuring at least 10,000 FPOs are set up.
Recently, ONDC has also forayed into open mobility, onboarding Namma Yatri, a Bengaluru-based auto booking app, which also runs on Beckn Protocols. Koshy indicated that ONDC will soon expand Nammi Yatri to other cities too.