India is a country where farming is still in the developing face with respect to newer technologies and advanced systems.
The impact of the COVID pandemic has changed the scene and the advancements are taking place at a faster rate. Still, in our country the transfer of farm produce to the final consumer takes place through multiple mediums.
There are a large number of shareholders and mediators that connect the dots between the farmer and the consumer in the Indian agriculture market.
The pandemic reiterated the importance of direct supply from the farm to the consumer as it is fast, safe, and convenient both for the farmers and the consumer.
Logistics and Telematics are the future to connect the dots between the farmers and the consumers.
In this guide, we have shared the ways in which Logistics and Telematics can ease the way to efficient supply of farm produce from the farm to consumers.
The Old School Supply Methods
At present, the major farm produced is supplied to the consumer through old-school methods of supply. It involves multiple shareholders and takes time to reach the consumer.
The old school method is outdated and often leads to an increase in the cost of the products. This method fills the pockets of the mediators and the farmers are left with very low or fewer incomes.
The consumers also pay high prices for the products and these costs do not reach the producers. The products are often not fresh due to heavy storage and transportation.
There are various touchpoints in the old-school method. At first, the product is sent for primary processing and involves cleaning and refinement through secondary players.
These players buy the crop from the farmers at lower prices and then process them into packages with a higher selling price. They earn more than the farmer.
The wholesale sellers buy the product from these processing units and sell them to small and big retail shops.
These middle players force high margins on the products to ensure higher profits and the prices of the products shoot up.
The consumer is left with highly-priced and non-fresh products.
Farmer to Consumer Direct Supply is the Future
The direct mode of supply from the farm to the consumer is the future of farming and supplying.
The pandemic has made it extremely necessary to adopt this method for better economic growth and fast transfer of food products from the field to the consumer. The pandemic forced markets to shut down and people were left with no choices to get food and other supplies.
The farmers’ produce got wasted as the middlemen were not interested in buying the products to escape heavy losses.
Digital selling of products directly by the farmers allows them to reach directly to the consumers and escape the trap of middlemen.
Online shops and stores make the farmers powerful enough to reach out to the consumers. Many farmers are coming up with startup ideas and websites to make direct selling more popular.
In recent times online stores run by farmers that sell products directly from the field to the consumer are making a lot of talk in the market.
The food products sold directly from the farmer to the consumer are fresher.
The cost of middlemen is cut down heavily and the consumer buys the same products at relatively cheaper prices and the farmers too earn better incomes.
The method of direct selling is the future of farming and we will see many startups based on this idea in the future.
Role of Logistics and Telematics in the Farmer to Consumer Direct Supply Chain
The dream of creating a system that allows a farmer to reach its consumers directly can be made possible easily with the help of logistics and advanced telematic tools.
The farmers can efficiently take over systems and can run efficiently all operations through these tools with the help of a small operational team.
Creating a website through a domain name can help them to get to a wider market. This allows the consumers to reach them directly at any given time. Farmers can also shift to online shopping platforms through social media.
Facebooks and Instagram allow businesses to open shopping pages from where customers can order products. This allows them to have a wider reach and create a brand in the market.
GPS and AI can help farmers to create scheduled routes for everyday supplies. GPS technology enables them to track each and every fleet of products.
This helps them to estimate the date and time of delivery and increases the scope of better planning. AI also helps in the automation of the process and decreases the workload of the management team.
GPS reduces security flaws and theft of goods from the fleets. Tools like dashcams allow farmers to keep track of things in the operational fleets.
The time to time notifications and data from dashcams make the entire process efficient and effortless.
The farmers can also plan shortest and easier routes for fast supplies and can save a lot using fuel tracking software.
The fuel tracking software helps them to monitor fuel expenditure and short route selections make it easier to save large amounts of fuel.
The use of logistic tools also saves the frequent cost of maintenance by keeping vehicles in good health for longer durations.
Telematics enables the farmers to interpret data in a better way. The entire process is made automated and efficient.
Orders can be easily made from the consumer end, the farmers can easily receive and process them for delivery with the help of automated telematics tools.
Summing it up
Telematics and Logistics is the leaning shoulder that helps the modern farmers to become an automated store and helps them to reach the consumer directly.
The consumer and the producer both benefit from the process. The consumer receives fresh food at cheaper prices and the producer earns better prices for the farm produce.