dFarm: Revamping the Agriculture Supply Chain Management

Venkatesh Babu Vadlamudi, President and CEO

“Great leaders don’t set out to be aleader. They set out to make the difference.”

These wise words by Lisa Haisha, renowned business and life coach and global influencer, precisely delineate the journey of Venkatesh Babu Vadlamudi in leading his company, dFarm, on the path to achieving success. Vadlamudi chanced upon the idea of establishing dFarm when he visited his hometown (Tirupati in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh) to visit his ailing mother and was moved by the farmers’ plight in the village, who were grappling to get a fair price for their produce. Having been born into an agricultural family, he could readily understand the longstanding struggles of farmers due to spiraling price inflation and decided to bring in the much-needed change to support them. “Such is the ordeal of farmers that, in India, every 30 minutes, one farmer commits suicide,” remarks Vadlamudi, President and CEO at dFarm. With dFarm, Vadlamudi has set out to make a real difference by transforming the agriculture supply chain for the betterment of farmers, consumers, and everyone in between. As an Ag supply chain management company, dFarm offers its cloud-based application to directly connect farmers to the retailers and help wholesalers and retailers optimize their complete produce supply chain.

Being a staunch supporter of Minimum Viable Price (MVP) for farmers’ wellbeing, Vadlamudi has developed a global business model for farmers to sell their produce using MVP, hassle-free. To this end, dFarm offers its Agriculture Information Management System (AIMS)—a software solution that utilizes enabling technologies including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model to make the produce supply chain more visible, transparent, and efficient.

Our model enables effective agriculture supply chain optimization and helps consumers by providing access to better quality produce at an affordable price

Vadlamudi highlights that the agriculture supply chain is a complicated ecosystem of production, storage, processing, shipping, and distribution. However, IT integration in agriculture supply chain management is less than 1 percent, which results in reduced demand forecasting, increased wastage, poor food quality, and lower profits for everyone involved in the value chain. Without proper integration between all the vendors and intermediary value-added services, it can be extremely difficult to manage and track the produce across the entire supply chain. AIMS connects the farmers with all intermediary services across the value chain, and by eliminating their reliance on middlemen, effectively reduces inflation and enables them to seamlessly connect to new local, state, and global markets. AIMS empowers farmers to interact efficiently with an international supply chain and manage their own harvest from the beginning of the supply chain to the end.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges around compliance, forecasting, costing, and connecting all the stakeholders across the value cycle have become more prominent. Our model enables effective agriculture supply chain optimization and helps consumers by providing access to better quality produce at an affordable price,” says Vadlamudi. AIMS provides wholesalers and retailers with enhanced visibility into all points in the value chain, enabling them to know the exact location of all produce, their source, and whether they produce meet compliance requirements.
As the solution seamlessly tracks data about all produce and participants, it provides them with actionable intelligence to make informed decisions around produce planning and forecasting. By facilitating an efficient supply chain, dFarm reduces food wastage considerably, which amounts to nearly $1 trillion a year.

Moreover, AIMS enables instantaneous and accurate financial settlement with farmers and all intermediate value-added services utilizing Blockchain. The costs of produce and services are calculated in real-time with secured auto payment settlement that automatically delivers payment with zero delays. The solution also utilizes APIs to integrate with different applications used in the pack houses, cold storages, and other points in the supply chain, working as a backend application for their existing software. “This saves vendors the additional cost generally involved with the development/integration of the application. If someone is using SAP for handling all their applications, they can utilize AIMS in the back-end, which would offer them the relevant information for informed decision-making while providing the ability to monitor the produce and the compliances,” explains Vadlamudi.

dFarm is currently working on a pilot project with an international company that has an expansive footprint in about 60 countries, offering them its application and services for managing a particular produce in Canada. Far exceeding its expectations, dFarm has already connected with almost 12000 farmers, both in India and Canada. Recently, APAC Entrepreneur magazine named Vadlamudi, one of The Most Inspiring Indian Entrepreneurs in the U.S., and Cool Logistics Global, a leading networking community for logistics, shipping, and supply chain professionals, chose dFarm as the 2020 award winner for Innovation in Perishable Logistics. The company has been gaining huge traction and recognition in the market and plans to go commercial in 2021.