‘Better Life Farming’, the global alliance led by Bayer and International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced their new partnership with e-commerce firm Big Basket, in order to address the plight of small farmers in India. The alliance was initially formed in April 2018, with the goal of helping raise the income of small farmers by providing them with knowledge on using inputs efficiently – as well as the access to markets to sell their produce.

Peter R Mueller, Head of Crop Science Division, Bayer South Asia stated: “ We want to support smallholders because we truly believe that empowering them is crucial to achieve food security. At the same time, we want to increase their livelihoods.” The alliance is working with green chilli, corn and tomato farmers in the regions of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, in the country.

Alongside Big Basket, the alliance has also roped in local partners – Yara Fertilisers and De Haat — in India to scale up its operations. Now, it aims to rope in partners in credit and insurance, according to a senior Bayer official – who also stated that the alliance runs on a business model instead of a CSR initiative – and that farmers were able to double their yields, and triple their incomes during the pilot project.

Vipul Mittal, National Category Head, Fruits and Vegetables, at Bigbasket stated that ths ‘Better Life Farming’ alliance gels very well with their strategy of partnering directly with Indian farmers.

“We use our technology based online platform to completely disintermediate the value chain of fruits  and vegetables — and hence give a better realisation to farmers. The alliance will help us support farmers, who are using better technologies and producing quality produce,” he stated.