Mastercard, LEAF and BASIX digitally empower over one million smallholder farmers in India
Mastercard today announced that it has reached the milestone of benefiting over one million smallholder farmers in India through Farm Pass, its scalable rural and agriculture digitization solution. Leveraging Farm Pass, Mastercard processed agricultural produce sales worth nearly INR 180 crores in 2022. Working with Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF) and BASIX Social Enterprise Group, the payments technology firm has now set a target of covering 10 million farmers by 2025.
Since 2020, Mastercard, LEAF and BASIX have partnered to improve digital access and financial inclusion for farmers in four Indian states: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. With its rich experience and expertise in digital and payments technology as well as agritech, in 2023, Mastercard will extend its Farm Pass solution to five more states including Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Telangana, and West Bengal.
Mastercard’s Farm Pass is a digital ecosystem platform for rural areas that also works offline in remote unconnected areas and encourages stakeholders in the agriculture sector to come together and serve the farmer community. The platform enables digitization of agricultural marketplaces and farmer data to create a commercially sustainable ecosystem, enabling farmers to be part of the formal economy.
Mastercard and its ecosystem partners are committed to empowering farmers by directly connecting them to buyers, enabling them to achieve greater value for their products, providing access to agronomic knowledge and services, and supporting Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
Farm Pass is part of Community Pass, a shared, interoperable digital infrastructure for rural populations. It facilitates access to critical services and reduces the cost to serve them for all stakeholders, including governments, banks, agricultural entities, and NGOs.
Tara Nathan, Executive Vice President, Humanitarian & Development, Mastercard, said, “Community Pass, which includes Farm Pass, is designed to help smallholder farmers get paid more and faster. Mastercard is proud to have supported one million farmers in India last year. In line with the Government of India’s vision to ensure financial inclusion and double farmers’ income, Community Pass addresses the barriers smallholder farmers face when trying to access reliable markets and financial services.”
Palat Vijayaraghavan, Founder & CEO, LEAF, said, “Leveraging our deep expertise in agritech, this partnership with Mastercard has led to the development of several digital products and solutions that have transformed the lives of smallholder farmers. Through comprehensive training and capacity building programs, we will continue to further empower farmers and make them more resilient.”
D Sattaiah, CEO, BASIX, said, “We are proud to collaborate with Mastercard in our endeavor to empower Indian farmers. BASIX’s Farmers Market (BFM) uses Mastercard’s technology to ensure complete transparency in agriculture transactions and enable greater price realization for farmers.”
Last year, Mastercard announced plans to expand its Farm Pass program to more markets in Asia Pacific in 2023. The company is also in the process of launching a unique agricultural invoice discounting platform, a rural financial inclusion card, as well as additional solutions to digitize the rural ecosystem.