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Fertiliser Retailers will Now Accept Digital Payments to Grow Digitization in Agriculture Sector

Garsha Sai Nitesh
Garsha Sai Nitesh

COVID-19 has brought agriculture close to technology closer than ever. Some companies are using technology to educate farmers about their crops, some are able to connect with the farmers from their homes, while some are selling fertilizers and seeds to farmers through live sessions. 

Now the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers’ (MoCF) issue directives to promote digital payments in the cash dominated agriculture industry. This decision comes amid the Kharif season going on in the country with good monsoon rains. 

Over 2,50,000 fertilizer retailers should now accept the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) giving a push for the use of digital payments in the industry.  

The objective of this move could be to help millions of farmers make payments contactless and follow social distancing amid the growing pandemic. 

Companies during the lockdown conducted meeting with farmers who are potential customers and tried to sell their seeds and fertilisers. This practice helped in increasing sales as the companies were able to talk to each customer and explain their products. 

Some companies trained farmers for upcoming sowing seasons and also helped them with the problems they faced in their fields. Some received information about COVID-19 on their phones, technology has been the main tool when lockdown forced them to stay at home. 

“In order to promote digital transactions in DBT (direct benefit transfer) among farmers in fertilisers, it has been decided by the Department of Fertilisers (DoF) to implement a cashless payment system at all fertiliser retailers for the sale of fertilisers,” the circular released said. 

All licensed retailers who provide subsidized fertiliser to farmers have been asked to log in with the UPI and facilitate UPI QR code stickers out of their outlets within the next two weeks. 

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