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ONDC partners with NABARD to activate e-commerce in agri tech
Bengaluru | June 2022

Bengaluru: The newly minted Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is working to activate e-commerce in the agriculture domain in partnership with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

As one of the first initiatives to drive ONDC enablement in the domain, ONDC and NABARD have come together to host the NABARD-ONDC Grand Challenge which aims to establish market linkages for the enabled players with market ready Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs) in the country. It also aims to promote development of innovative solutions that are likely to aid adoption of e-commerce in the agriculture domain.

ONDC CEO T Koshy told ET, for the NABARD - ONDC hackathon, they have more than 400 entities registered, out of whom around 250 are agri-tech startups while 150 are non-agri tech startups. Agri tech entities include Ninjakart, Agmart, John Deere, Arun Dairy Farm, and Udyami Kisan Agro Producer Company Limited.

The non-agri tech companies include Phygital24, SiS tech, Neartail,, Tata Cummins, ThoughtWorks, Zoho, Sonata software NSE -0.81 %, Bosch global software, Alpha IoT, and Centrix.

Koshy explained that the startups will be given two problem statements: One, to integrate existing agri-tech e-commerce players on the ONDC network, and the second, to build innovative solutions that may accelerate adoption of the network enabled.

"NABARD is one of the earlier investors in ONDC. We decided to adopt a programmatic approach to encourage rural tech innovations, and give them an opportunity to experiment in ONDC. With interesting problem statements, they can test their solutions and will be provided with some hand-holding in terms of finance. This is to help products of diverse sellers/artisans be available in the market," Koshy said.

Similar Grand Challenges will also be planned in collaboration with various state governments and MSME Ministry.

"This is the first-such initiative to introduce FPOs to the tech world. All the challenges presented will be some essential building blocks of transactions. Participants can build businesses and monetise their solutions. The winner of the hackathon can also make it available to associations or other businesses," Koshy added.

"If a participant has already built a platform to make their products more visible, he/she can make it ONDC-compliant or make it a building block.

For example, Indic language support to create catalogues for handicrafts and goods. They can approach artisans to register with them or approach handicraft associations," Koshy explained.

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