Bayer, a leading global enterprise specializing in agriculture and healthcare, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cargill, a prominent global food corporation dedicated to fostering connections within the global food system for sustainable growth.
The primary objective of this strategic partnership is to transform the agricultural sector by providing farmers with groundbreaking solutions and enabling them to achieve optimal pricing for their agricultural products.
Harnessing the capabilities of cutting-edge platforms like Cargill’s ‘Digital Saathi‘ and Bayer’s Better Life Farming Centres, which currently assist more than 500,000 smallholder farmers, this strategic partnership is committed to enhancing market accessibility for small-scale farmers. These platforms, characterized by mobile-centricity and AI integration, cater to localized requirements, ensuring the empowerment of farmers at the grassroots level.
Bayer and Cargill have joined forces with a shared commitment to providing farmers with digital solutions that encompass interactive forums, extensive market price information, weather forecasts, and valuable insights spanning the entire agricultural process, from pre-harvest to post-harvest stages.
Bayer’s eCommerce strategy revolves around the expansion of customized solutions via the Digital Saathi app, initially focusing on corn farming in Karnataka and subsequently extending to encompass other crops and regions. Through collaboration with Food Value Chain Partners, the objective is to drive a revolutionary and sustainable transformation within the agricultural sector. In addition, this partnership grants farmers access to Bayer’s renowned corn portfolio, DEKALB®, through the Digital Saathi Platform, thereby augmenting their agricultural capabilities.
Furthermore, Cargill’s Digital Saathi platform provides convenient e-commerce options for crop inputs and facilitates crop selling through its Crop Sell Offer features. This enables farmers to access high-quality crop inputs conveniently and establishes digital market connections between farmers and aggregators through a digitally empowered marketplace. The integrated approach adopted by this partnership seeks to elevate farmers’ decision-making abilities, optimize agricultural processes, and promote efficient and smooth collaborations within the agricultural ecosystem.
Having already achieved successful engagement with over 50,000 registered small farmers, Digital Saathi is poised to extend its reach to 3 million farmers across eight states, including Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, by the year 2027.
Aligned with Cargill’s global mission to train farmers in sustainable agricultural practices and enhance market accessibility for 10 million farmers by 2030, the introduction of Digital Saathi marks a significant leap forward in realizing this objective.
Speaking on the partnership, Simon-Thorsten Wiebusch, Country Divisional Head, Crop Science Division of Bayer for India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka said, “Access to advisory, quality inputs, credit, technologies, or markets is one of the biggest enablers to unlocking smallholder value, and it lies at the very core of what this partnership is all about. We also believe that digitization is key to this exercise therefore we are looking at leveraging all relevant digital tools to ensure that we are able to deliver greater value to the smallholder farmers and create for them a level playing field.”
Simon George, President of Cargill in India, said, “As Cargill, we are dedicated to creating innovative digital solutions, and we are thrilled to collaborate with Bayer to foster a productive and profitable ecosystem for farmers across India. This partnership marks a significant milestone in our journey towards sustainable and prosperous agriculture. By leveraging our combined strengths, expertise, and global networks, we remain steadfast in our commitment to support farmers worldwide and cultivate a resilient and inclusive food system.”
Commenting on the partnership, the Founder of Digital Saathi, Raman Saxena said, “We initiated the introduction of farm advisory subscription and farm management services (soil testing) on our platform earlier this year, aiming to provide farmers with a comprehensive solution for their agricultural requirements. Through this partnership, we aim to provide access to wide range of quality inputs and implements to farmers via Agri Input Market place which will improve their yields and simultaneously provide holistic solution for maximizing farmers income.”
Accessible in multiple languages, including English, Kannada, and Hindi, Digital Saathi caters to farmers in various districts of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, facilitating improved decision-making processes. This partnership between Bayer and Cargill endeavors to connect with 3 million farmers across India within the next five years. Initially, the partnership will be implemented in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and subsequently expand to other regions.