Farmfrnd to help farmers get a better deal

As farming technologies continue to evolve at a rapid pace, markets for agricultural produce too are fast migrating to online platforms.

Farmfrnd, a mobile application launched by the K.R. Narayanan Foundation in Kottayam, is the latest to join the ever-increasing list of technology-enabled solutions to help farmers sell their produce directly to customers. The app seeks to network the farmers with the local shopkeepers and the end-customers by avoiding the middlemen, who typically hinder fair trading .

Launched by Pala MLA Mani C. Kappan, the mobile app was created in connection with the centenary birth year celebrations of K.R. Narayanan, former President of India.

The app can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store for Android phones. “We are working on other platforms too, which will be available soon,” said Thommen Jose, a Corporate filmmaker who developed the app with a tech-team in Kochi.

Hailing from Pala, a predominantly agrarian economy, Mr. Jose had been witness to the difficulties experienced by local farmers in connecting with their markets during the lockdown. He decided to come up with a technology-enabled solution to help the farmers.

Expansion plans

According to Eby J. Jose, chairman of the K.R. Narayanan Foundation, the service of the mobile app will be limited to the registered users in Kottayam district in the first phase while plans are afoot to expand the scope of its operation to more areas. The app enables the farmers to list their produce along with phone number while for buyers, it gives a view of available produce, sorted by their geographical proximity to the farmers.

Meanwhile, the makers of the app are also exploring options to augment the service by providing the current prices of commodities in trade, demand for listed products, and weather and seasonal changes, to help farmers plan better.

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