Indian farmers can now sell their produce directly to the food industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including processing companies, traders and wholesale merchants, with the launch of an e-marketplace connecting growers in India to UAE bulk buyers.
Indian farmers are in a position to sell directly to bulk buyers in UAE after the Narendra Modi government allowed them the freedom to sell their produce to anyone across the country and trading platforms in June this year.
Last week, the e-marketplace platform Agriota was launched by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC). This platform was developed along with the Nagpur-based firm CropData.
Powered by blockchain technology and backed by actionable analytics and data, Agriota is a neutral platform for the seller as well as the buyer.
The platform is technology-driven agri-commodity trading and sourcing platform that will help bridge the gap between farmers in rural parts of India and the UAE’s food industry.
The DMCC-CropData venture is expected to provide a new digital marketplace that will transform the agriculture industry through an easy-to-use platform.
It is expected to provide a boost to the supply chain and has end-to-end traceability provisions that will help all stakeholders.
Growers can sell their produce directly to meet the demand emerging from the UAE market and the platform helps aggregation of produce by a buyer or supplier.
It can also ensure better quality products from the farm to the ultimate user since it cuts down needless via-media and handling. The UAE views this link as a part of a solution to its long-term food security.
To start with, the Agriota platform will offer cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, spices and condiments.
The platform also provides transparency through last-mile verification and extension infrastructure in a blockchain environment.
In addition, it provides a multi-tier escrow banking structure that will protect the interests of farmers and buyers. More importantly, it will guarantee secure transactions of funds.
DMCC said that the Agriota platform was jointly developed with CropData Technology, which is working with marginal and small farmers in India. Initiatives for this began soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited UAE in February 2018.
In July 2020, DMCC said it wanted to replicate the successful business model of its tea and coffee operations by building a new infrastructure and logistics centre at Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone Area.
The organisation said it would facilitate and promote the trade of cacao, pepper, chillies and spices, besides expanding to other agricultural commodities such as cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, ginger, sesame seeds and cashew nuts.
The move to launch the e-marketplace is DMCC’s latest initiative to widen economic diversification. Earlier this year, the organisation signed an agreement with Crypto Valley – a Swiss government-supported initiative for blockchain and cryptographic technologies ecosystem.
The launch of the e-trading platform is expected to boost India-UAE trade relations.
It also strengthens the long-standing trading relations, especially with regard to agricultural items, between Indian and the UAE.
The e-marketplace launch comes on the heels of India exporting over $38 billion of agricultural and processed food products, with a significant quantity being shipped to West Asia.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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