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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Greeno’s Rainbow Farm Assist Apps Smoothens Farmers’ Lives

Selva Kumar and Thirukumar Mumoorthy come from farming families and have seen the vagaries of nature take a toll on their parents’ livelihood. They were lucky to have got an engineering degree, considering how many people can’t afford to let their children finish school. Knowing this, Selva and Thiru wanted to help make farmers’ lives much easier, by making vital information about markets, weather, water and other such pertinent news available at their fingertips.
Greeno is the result. The name is a combination of the words ‘green’ and ‘innovation’. They started this venture in 2012, after 10 years of working in the IT industry, with Rs 1 lakh of their own money invested in it. The cool ‘app-as-a service’ that they have developed is a series of apps, under the Rainbow Farm Assist family. Ironically, while the app was meant to assist, as the name suggests, farmers didn’t exactly take to it willingly. Selva told Networked India,
Due to poor adoption of the Rainbow Farm Assist, we were forced to go door to door to promote the user experience to the farmers. We were treated as thieves who are coming in the day time to check the (harvest) target! This initiative ended up there and we were forced to find an alternative (i.e) working with farmer associations.”
“Our first customer was Kalingarayan Farmers Club, where 30,000 acres of land is cultivated by 1,000 farms. Their leadership team listened to our idea keenly but trashed us, as they believed that most of the government’s data is obsolete and not of any use to them. They suggested that we develop a messaging platform that would reach all farmers, and then we started developing the apps.” So, they developed the Rainbow Message, Rainbow Sell, Rainbow Market, and Rainbow Groups.
The Rainbow Message app allows the user to organise their contacts and send text messages in English or any local language. It can also send 30 second voice messages that helps farmers to get information on the weather, the market price, fertiliser vendors, dam water level and also the ability to track crop life-cycle.
The initial version was built with multi-lingual voice input. It offers bulk and unlimited messaging and works even with a basic internet connection. It also lets farmers document and digitize profiles and best practices, as well as connects them with various stakeholders in the agriculture sector.
According to a document shared with Networked India, the Rainbow Sell app connects farmers with street vendors, as well as small stores and shops to reach the end consumer. It can be customised to suit the farmer’s needs and is available in the local language. Other features include:
  • Hide/show the details of their choice  
  • Vendor can enter details in their local language  
  • Shows status of a buy order (Pending/Delivered)  
  • Vendor can give a discount for a particular commodity
Rainbow Market app lets users buy agricultural produce and groceries, if they are available nearby. It also helps connect with local vendors, street vendors, shops, mom & pop stores and even farmers, directly. All organic food is also listed for consumers to select and buy.
Other features include:   
  • Find a local vendor or even a farmer who wants to sell directly from his/her field   
  • Track order status
  • Sort commodities by price   
And then the Rainbow Groups app lets a farmer maintain data and documents online. Rainbow Groups can help to manage: 
  • Farmer Federation & Farmer Club news
  • Individual farmer’s profile   
  • Land & crop details   
  • Banking information and documents  
Their apps have brought succor to farmers’ existence and the fact that they have benefited from technology, makes the Greeno team tick. Their services are used by: Farmers via the (Farmer Federation, JLG, SHG, Farmer Producer Companies, as well as individual farmers), Veterinary Doctors, Food Buyers, and Resource Institutions supporting farmers.
One such customer using their app has praised Greeno. Jayaraman is a spokesman for Vashista Farmers Producer Company, which is based in Salem. He said, “Team Rainbow Agri did an excellent and professional job. Their team was very responsive, worked with our team very closely and contributed significantly, to help us to create Farmer Producer Companies, Online Free Stores (Mobile App) and with the marketing. The team is very committed and always delivers on time, as promised. We would not hesitate to engage with Rainbow Agri, for any of our future projects related to their areas of expertise.”
What more needs to be said? A very satisfied customer says it best, after all.
Written for Ericsson's blog.

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