Agtech start-up BharatRohan, which provides drone-based precision farming services to farmers, is diversifying into exports of cash crops such as cumin (jeera), coriander (dhaniya), chilli and ginger.
Amandeep Panwar, Director and co-founder of BharatRohan, said the company would soon start exporting these residue-free farms produce to markets in the European Union and China, sourcing directly from farmers who have been growing them using the integrated pest management (IPM) methods.
The company has been procuring from farmers directly and supplying to the large institutional buyers. Sensing a market opportunity, the company now wants to enter export markets directly and has acquired necessary certifications, Panwar said. The company, in collaboration with the bio-input makers, has been engaged with farmers on the use of IPM methods. BharatRohan is sourcing ginger from farmer groups in Meghalaya, cumin and coriander from Rajasthan and recently started working with farmers in Guntur region for chillies and turmeric in Telangana.
The company has been offering its precision farming services to farmer groups in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Meghalaya on about 50,000 acres. “We are also working with the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments for crops such as paddy and wheat.” he said.
“Our target is to expand the services from the current 50,000 acres to 5 lakh acres over the next 18-24 months,” Panwar said. The company is expanding its footprint to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. Currently, BharatRohan is working with about 10 farmer producer organisations and is in the process of partnering with some 123 more to scale up its operations.
Drone-based precision farming services will remain the core, Punwar said. Using drones, BharatRohan has been offering services such as plant health status, nutrient management, pest and disease management, soil testing, water management, weather advisory, acreage estimation and market linkage among others to farmer producer organisations.
Founded in 2016, BharatRohan has been funded by investors such as Upaya, Acumen, Naarm a-idea, Villgro, Startup Oasis CIIE and BIRAC. So far, the company has raised close to ₹4 crore from these investors. “We have been a profitable organisation and have developed a model that’s sustainable,” Panwar said adding that the company is in the process of raising about $5 million in the Series A funding to finance its expansion plans.
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