Syngenta signs pact with Jai Kisan to provide quick credit to smallholder farmers

Syngenta – The agreement provides for a one-year pilot project.

Syngenta India, a subsidiary of the Swiss-based agricultural society, has partnered with Jai Kisan, a neo-bank focused on rural areas, to provide smallholder farmers with fast and affordable credit, as well as access to advanced technologies and products. Syngenta is a multinational agricultural input company owned by China’s state-owned ChemChina.

Syngenta India’s sustainability director, KC Ravi, said the deal with Jai Kisan was signed under Syngenta’s farmer-friendly Krishi Mitra scheme. The agreement provides for a one-year pilot project.

Farmers can obtain loans of up to 30,000 over a period of 120 days, according to Abhishek Agarwal, Manager (Finance), Syngenta India. “Farmers must maintain a minimum balance in their bank account equal to the amount of the loan, which will be withdrawn automatically at maturity. Interest and processing fees will be deducted in advance, “ he said.

The loan is intended to help smallholder farmers, who account for 40% of the country’s grain production as well as half of the production of fruits, vegetables and other crops, to purchase Syngenta products from retailers. Farmers then have the option of withholding payment until their crops are sold.

“The pilot will be implemented in nine locations,said Ravi, naming Indore, Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh), Aurangabad, Akola (Maharashtra), Krishna, Godavari (Andhra Pradesh), Hyderabad (Telangana), Ballari and Hubahalli (both from Karnataka).

According to a Syngenta official, reaching out to smallholder farmers with agricultural support programs has always been challenging, and this collaboration with Jai Kisan will help bridge that gap. “Farmers will benefit from a variety of financial programs that will allow them to make independent decisions to access the latest technologies and solutions,” he said.

Kanidmalla Veeraiah, a farmer from Gaddipalli village in Suryapet district of Telangana, thinks he will be able to save on the 24% interest he pays to the retailer for agricultural inputs. Under the Jai Kisan project, he would save at least 50% on interest and could buy inputs at a competitive price.

S Bakkaiah, an agri-input company owner, said the Syngenta-Jai Kisan project has enabled him to get products at a competitive price, which will also benefit farmers as they will pay less. “The whole transaction is all cash and hassle free. Because it is cash, I can get the products at a lower price than when I get them on credit,” he said.

Dyaneshwar Bhika Riwate, a farmer from Dhawada, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, said Jai Kisan project enabled him to get phytosanitary products on time. It also saved him from having to borrow on “painful terms,” he claims. According to Ravi, it is essential that farmers have access to finance, agricultural products and technologies; the Jai Kisan initiative will help farmers.

First published: May 14, 2022, 12:50 p.m. IST

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