Infosys partners with ACDI/VOCA for agro supply chain solution

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 12:43 Hrs
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Bangalore: Infosys Technologies has partnered with ACDI/VOCA, a non-profit organization that promotes broad-based economic growth, to develop an application that would improve efficiencies in the agro supply chain in India. The information and communication technology enabled application successfully minimizes inventory requirements, reduces waste and allows retailers and farmers to be better integrated.

This application falls under ACDI/VOCA's $6.3 million growth-oriented micro-enterprise development program (GMED), which is funded by USAID. GMED is an innovative program that develops sustainable and scalable approaches to job creation by fostering the growth of micro and small enterprises.

Commenting on the application, Binod H.R., VP & Head - India Business Unit, Infosys Technologies, said, "Maintaining on-time, programmed delivery of fresh produce from a large and scattered production base is a complex and critical operation. This solution gives the organized retail sector access to a reliable small holder production base. It thereby decreases farm-to-market losses, currently estimated at 30 percent to 40 percent on certain products."

The application allows farmers to access technical information including database searches for data and images, access to region-specific weather updates and market information like daily sales volumes and average prices.

The application can handle several thousand concurrent users and yet ensures that data is secure through data-encryption mechanisms. There are 1,700 small holder farmers currently integrated into organized retail supply chains through this application, thereby bridging the urban-rural agricultural divide. The usage is expected to increase to a million farmers over the next five to eight years.

Speaking on the benefits of the solution, ACDI/VOCA's GMED Chief of Party, Don Taylor, said, "The system is accessible across GPRS and CDMA devices, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the field force. The application also gives farmers real-time access to agricultural experts, thereby improving farming technology at an overall level. This technology intervention in the agricultural sector in India will reduce rural poverty in the long run."

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