Mastercard is eyeing the Indian farm sector to deploy its technology platform: the Mastercard Farmer Network (MFN). It claims this would help farmers connect directly with buyers, input suppliers and financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies.
MFN will be rolled out in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in a few months, said RB Santosh Kumar, Vice-President, Government Engagement, South Asia, Mastercard. Kumar added that the company is bringing its technology solution to India after its success among the farming community in Africa, mainly Tanzania and Uganda, where about 475,000 farmers are using MFN to get better realisations and access to inputs and advisories.
Mastercard has been running a pilot of MFN in Andhra Pradesh for the past two years in collaboration with the State Horticulture Department and three FPOs. About 24,000 farmers have been using the MFN platform in Andhra Pradesh.
Mastercard will roll out the MFN with the help of an implementation partner, which the company is in the process of finalising for the three States. “We start with three States in South and then we move to Central India and Northern India,” Kumar said. MFN aims to enrol about 300,000 farmers over two years in phases.