StarAgri to extend post-harvest solutions to more farmers

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 24, 2018

Farmers, who had hitherto been content selling their produce to traders for an agreed sum, can now avail of the services of StarAgri, a provider of post-harvest solutions, to earn more.

The company is gearing up to connect directly with at least 25 lakh farmers in the next 3-4 years.

'There are about six crore farmers in the country and we have managed to connect with only 2.5 lakh farmers till now,” Amith Agarwal, Co-founder and Director of StarAgi told BusinessLine.

The company offers a wide range of services including procurement, warehousing and storage, trade and finance facilitation, managing local logistics, providing quality certification and so on. The company has 750 warehouses spread across 16 states, with capacity of over one million tonnes. That apart, it has ties with institutions across 110 collateral management solutions.

“We initially started with six cities in Rajasthan. Today we are present in 290 locations today including the Coimbatore branch, which is the first in Tamil Nadu,” he said, adding “we are very careful in selection of warehouses before taking them on lease.”

The company caters to customers ranging from banks to international bulk commodity buyers, food, health, FMCG companies and commodity exchanges.

To a query on private equity participation, he said “Singapore-based Temasek Holdings invested ₹250 cr in StarAgri in 2014. This is being utilised to strengthen “one-stop” agri-solutions offering by developing warehouses, strengthening supply-chain and logistics facilities.”

“Earlier, in 2012, IDFC invested ₹150 cr in the company,” he said.

Asked about its middlemen elimination strategy, he said, “our representatives meet the farmers at their doorstep and explain to them the benefits of depositing the produce on harvest in the godowns located nearest their farm. We give them a receipt, with which they can take a bank loan. Normally, prices tend to fall at the time of harvest because the supplies are aplenty. If the farmers store the produce and sell it at a later date when prices pick up, they will be able to get better returns.”

Published on March 18, 2015

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