Winds of change in rural Odisha through enabling digital financial services for dairy farmers
Orissa, August 6, 2018: Milk Mantra Pvt Ltd, a leading private dairy player in the state of Odisha, today announced its first digital payment directly into dairy farmers’ bank accounts. The organization has been working towards empowering rural communities in India and this initiative is part of their efforts to empower women through digital financial services (DFS). The farmers were also able to withdraw their cash within the village itself, and were quite happy with this convenience.
The initiative, supported by U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by FHI 360 under the Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance Program (mSTAR), and enabled by Intellecap, aims to create a digitally-enabled rural financial ecosystem to enhance farmers’ livelihoods through use of DFS. These solutions have the potential to drive down financial services delivery costs for customers and service providers, as well as offer services at greater convenience and scale, opening the door to economic empowerment and development.
As a part of this initiative, financial transactions from Milk Mantra to more than 500 dairy farmers spread across 15 villages in Puri District would be digitized to begin with, with further expansion subsequently rolled out across the state based on initial success.
Speaking on the launch of this event, Anil Burman, Head of Sourcing at Milk Mantra stated: “The key beneficiary of deploying such DFS channels are rural women, who have so far been lagging in their ability to make financial decisions, access savings and investments instruments and use formal banking facilities.”
Commenting on this initiative Himanshu Bansal, Associate Partner – Financial Services, Intellecap said, “The project aims to drive digital financial inclusion by leveraging digital payments to enable larger financial objectives such as improved banking and savings, as well as enhanced access to credit for dairy farmers through use of alternate data generated through this process. Creating a digital ecosystem is key to success here as isolated digital payments interventions have not been very successful, especially in rural India.”
Intellecap has been instrumental in developing the blueprint of this model and implementing it on the ground while Airtel Payments Bank has been brought in as the payment technology and banking partner for this initiative given their significant rural focus and market penetration in Odisha. Airtel payments Bank has been instrumental in on-boarding the banking correspondent in target villages and in setting up bank accounts for the dairy farmers.
The initiative was widely covered by the local media in Orissa and continues to find traction as a great story on digital payment for dairy farmers.View full article