SLCM begins to provide loans to farmers, women through BCs

Sohan Lal Commodity Management (SLCM), one of India’s largest warehouse providers, has begun financing small and marginal farmers, especially women, through its partnership lending program to Kisandan Business Reporter (SLCM), founder and CEO Sandeep Sabharwal said.

“The business correspondent model is more like the group model. For example, if you go to a big village, the chief panchayat might be a business correspondent. He will actually take loans from the company and distribute them to his members.” Business line in online interaction.

Click to set up new FPOs

SLCM attempts to extend the schema using the cluster approach. “We take a lot out of Amul’s collaborative model. That’s because it’s impossible for a company to get to the last mile every day to collect or source loans. But it’s very possible for us to go and intervene at the district level.

The company is leveraging these centers to create new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). “We are looking to them for distributing loans to small farmers and also as a dissemination agent for knowledge transfer,” Sabharwal said.

The company has identified FPOs as an important component of its business. Then he added the BC Partners scheme. “As you know, at Partners BC we have dispersed around Rs 87.88 crore and each ticket volume is no more than R30,000. We have impacted over 20,000 business women, and they are very important to us.

An important part of the ecosystem

SLCM finds these women entrepreneurs leading the decision-making process. The founder and CEO said she considers these women an important part of the ecosystem and has helped draw them towards the company.

The company is able to feel the pulse of events on the ground through the FPOs it interacts with. “We got the knowledge in terms of crop production, migration and an understanding of unit level economics,” Sabharwal said.

In turn, this helped SLCM advise banks on which crops could do well or which areas were underutilized. This has assisted 78 FPOs with a total of 58,000 farmers as their members. He said that it worked on synergizing the company’s operations and financial support.

Malls give out loans to farmers at an interest rate of 15 percent. This is higher than the usual interest rate because it involves risks. On the other hand, women were getting loans of more than 20 percent. In a way, he said, it lightened the burden on their shoulders.

Quality checks

Over the past few months, SLCM has been able to register 10,000 women beneficiaries under the BCs Partners Scheme. SLCM leverages its digital application – AgriReach – to provide loans.

On the other hand, it has helped the company check the quality of farmers’ products. SLCM has assisted in carrying out 81,000 inspections across 70 different commodities in 18 countries totaling 3.44 million tons. And he said that all this is done for free.

This has attracted a lot of service listings from labor to packaging to transportation. Sabharwal said there is more than one customer listed on the app.

In terms of application quality inspection of farmers’ products, the company’s founder and CEO said 88 percent of the results were on par with the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

Check more goods

The app can be used to find out the quality of wheat, pulses, soybeans, corn and one variety of rice, while SLCM has begun publishing them per gram (channa). It will soon begin to help the quality of the seed.

One of the features of the app is that it offers quality parameters if the product is clicked with a mobile phone camera. Sabharwal said SLCM’s Agrisuraksha, which helps monitor stocked products by the consumer 24/7 even without power, is also expanding its user base.

It has helped the assets under management in its warehouses to increase from ₹3,000 crores to the present ₹8,000 over the past three years. He said the company now operates more than 12,000 warehouses, compared to 8,000 two years ago.