Money & Banking

Axis Bank to provide affordable loans via Bayer’s Better Life Farming initiative

Our Bureau. Mumbai | Updated on September 25, 2020 Published on September 25, 2020

Axis Bank has joined Bayer’s Better Life Farming initiative in India to provide holistic financial solutions to smallholder farmers and rural farming communities.

Through the partnership, Axis Bank will offer a wide range of financial solutions and services such as affordable loans, deposits, withdrawals and payments.

Digital financial solutions and doorstep delivery of these services will be part of the bank’s offering to ensure convenient and hassle-free transactions.

These solutions will be offered through Bayer’s Better Life Farming centres, which are owned and operated either by a farmer producer organisation, federation, agri-graduate or a local farmer/entrepreneur.

Launched globally in April 2018, the BLF alliance has global partners that include Bayer with its expertise in seeds, crop protection and agronomy; IFC, the development finance institution for impact assessment; and Netafim for drip-irrigation technologies.

Local partners

In India, the BLF alliance works with additional local partners, including Yara Fertilisers for soil and nutrient management; DeHaat, AgriBazaar and Big Basket as off-takers; and Tata Trusts for improving rural livelihoods and promoting self-reliant agri-entrepreneurship.

BLF has set up small centers across villages to offer farming advisory to the communities. Each BLF centre consists of a group of 500 farmers from five to six nearby villages, where an agri-entrepreneur provides smallholder farmers with access to agri-inputs, crop advisory, irrigation best practices and new technologies.

D Narain, Managing Director and CEO, Bayer CropScience, said affordable farm credit, farmer financing and digital banking solutions rank as high priorities for rural farming communities. Bayer’s partnership with Axis Bank will help deliver last-mile connectivity and create a more inclusive agri eco-system, he said.

Amitabh Chaudhry, Managing Director and CEO, Axis Bank, said the partnership achieves multiple goals, including promoting rural entrepreneurship and delivering holistic financial solutions under one roof at the doorstep of the rural community.

The BLF initiative has led to a doubling of crop yields and tripling of farm incomes among participant farmers in India.

Currently, over 150 BLF centres are operational in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, with plans to expand to West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

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Published on September 25, 2020
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