Smallholder farms differ from agricultural holdings in flexibility and quick response to market. But at the same time they have less opportunities for development. However, the digitalization of agro-industrial complex, probably, will be able to equal these opportunities. The company called Stellapps offers smallholder dairy farmers to try the set of smartMoo apps, which help with cattle management, feed/fodder purchases, milk quality and production efficiency control and even with cattle insurance and running financial operations. As a result, developers are creating a system, which, as expected, will take smallholder dairy farms to the next level. For now Stellapps technologies are already being used in India and France, also they have been introduced to Kenyan and Nepalese markets. Using the example of India, where an average cattle amount is 2 (!!!), the company is ready to show how significant digital solutions will enable growth of income. In fact, Stellapps developments form a new layer of consumer financial and insurance services. Now scattered and small farms have troubles with getting bank and insurer support, but Stellapps apps can change it radically.
Your current solutions are able to takeover virtually all processes of dairy farms. Are there any clients that have tried the entire set of SmartMooTM apps? Is this the farm of the future?
We are trying to implement state wide programs in which all the processes in the dairy value chain could get digitized. This would be a phased out project where the customer would be gradually upgraded to the more technically advanced products like mooOn, mooPay, mooKare etc. Such an approach helps in change management as there is a significant amount of hand-holding that is required. Currently, there are no clients who are using the entire set of smartMoo apps. Some of the apps have not been commercially rolled out yet.
Which role on such farms is played by an ordinary employee with particular specialty, for example, veterinarian? Is there any chance that digital technologies will change the human resources market?
The veterinarian or a para-vet is responsible for inputting the medical records of the cattle attended by him or her in the mooOn app: artificial insemination, medicine provided, animal death etc. While an ordinary employee at a farm can input information like status of the cattle (milking/dry), feed/fodder provided to the cow, the milk produced by the cow. In India, majority of the farms are owned by smallholder households with an average of about 2 cattle. Hence the digital technology will not have a significant impact on the human resource market but will enable smallholders to increase their income.
Many people are saying that soon technologies and robots will substitute humans and take away their jobs. Do you believe that? Probably engineers and programmers may not be afraid of this, because they create these technologies, may they?
Technology enables people to function optimally. Our solutions help people to make informed decisions. Like computers helping make clerical tasks easier instead of completely eliminating these jobs, our solutions enable productivity and reduced costs, ensuring an efficient system.
In SmartMooTM set there are some apps that help farmers to run financial operations. While creating them have you consulted with banks and insurance companies? Are they interested in expanding these opportunities for farmers? Are your mooPayTM and mooKareTM regard as their competitors?
Yes, we work closely with banks and insurance companies. mooKare and mooPay enable financial institutions to reach out to dairy farmers who are scattered and small. Our smartMoo platform enables aggregation of demand, risk assessment and easy distribution of loans and insurance digitally. This drives down the cost of servicing smallholder farmers.
In your opinion, will digital solutions be able to change farmers’ relations with banks or agricultural insurance system in future?
Currently, farmers in India lack access to formal credit and insurance. Digital solutions bring in transparency and reduce the risk of lending and risk coverage. They also reduce the cost of servicing scattered smallholders. Hence, the digital solution holds much potential to change farmer relations with financial institutions.