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Harvesting Farmer Network Raises USD 4 million from Social Capital

Farmers can scale and expand their businesses by using HFN's trusted platform to buy high-quality and reasonably priced farm inputs, access financial services like loans and insurance, and sell their crops to domestic and foreign customers. These luxuries are typically only available to large-scale farms.

Shivam Dwivedi
In the following 12 months, HFN expects to connect farmers in each of India's 708 districts. HFN intends to use the new funding to rapidly expand its footprint throughout India.
In the following 12 months, HFN expects to connect farmers in each of India's 708 districts. HFN intends to use the new funding to rapidly expand its footprint throughout India.

Palihapitiya, has raised USD 4 million for Harvesting Farmer Network (HFN), a leading agriculture technology platform in India. HFN has raised its first institutional round of funding, which it will use to reach over 120 million smallholder farmers in India and investigate opportunities in the country's rural markets.

By giving them access to a platform for collective bargaining, Harvesting Farmer Network assists smallholder farmers in India—those with less than 2 hectares of land, as defined by the UN—in increasing their income. Farmers can scale and expand their businesses by using HFN's trusted platform to buy high-quality and reasonably priced farm inputs, access financial services like loans and insurance, and sell their crops to domestic and foreign customers. These luxuries are typically only available to large-scale farms.

HFN was developed by Ruchit Garg to lessen conflict between farmers and consumers, initially by allowing them to communicate directly on Twitter during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, crops worth more than USD 500 million and more than 360 different crop varieties have been listed on the HFN digital platform from every Indian state. These crops have been sold to both domestic and foreign markets. India is a global leader in agriculture, producing more than 275 billion USD worth of crops every year.

More than 3.7 million farmers are digitally connected to the HFN platform as of August 2022, and as a result of working with HFN, farmers have seen a 2.5X increase in crop earnings thanks to HFN's more streamlined and efficient supply chain. Recently, many forward-thinking farmers have even established offline facilities called "HFN Kisan Centers" (the Hindi word "kisan" means "farmer") to assist other local farmers in selling their crops and acquiring basic inputs like seeds and fertilizer at competitive prices.

"At HFN, our goal is to help farmers realize their full potential by reducing the myriad inefficiencies across the agriculture value chain," said Ruchit G. Garg, the company's founder and CEO. We have been able to build large, data-driven farmer cooperatives thanks to accessible, cost-effective technologies like WhatsApp and Twitter. These cooperatives enable farmers to bargain better rates for farm inputs and more aggressive prices for outputs. We have been able to develop a special level of trust with our farmer partners thanks to our farmer-first strategy, providing us with a solid base for long-term growth. We will be able to scale our platform even further and grow even faster thanks to this new funding from Social Capital as we work to provide India's 120 million smallholder farmers with the opportunities they deserve.”

"There is an urgent need for increased and better food security in our world of increasingly complex geopolitics and amidst a rapidly worsening climate crisis," said Jay Zaveri, Partner at Social Capital. In the following 12 months, HFN expects to connect farmers in each of India's 708 districts. HFN intends to use the new funding to rapidly expand its footprint throughout India.

In India's Chandigarh, Harvesting Farmer Network (HFN) is headquartered. Ruchit G. Garg founded the business after spending more than a decade working in the US for companies like Microsoft and The Silicon Valley-based technology investment company Social Capital, run by Chamath before relocating to India to work with smallholder farmers. By August 2022, every state in India—including farmers in remote eastern regions like Nagaland and northern locales like Pulwama, Jammu, and Kashmir, as well as Kutch, Gujarat—had more than 3.7 million farmers connected to HFN via various digital platforms.

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