In India, an Uber for farm machinery aims to make a difference in rural areas

Jon Russell for TechCrunch:  Uber has inspired countless businesses to adopt its asset-light and on-demand approach to their industries. The examples are countless. Food delivery, dry cleaning, jet planes, home services rental bikes, or even phone chargers to name but a few — but how about farming equipment?

That’s the case in India, where a startup called EM3 AgriServices is helping rural farmers literally get their hands on specialist (and expensive) equipment and machines that would ordinarily be out of their reach. The goal is to help them earn their livelihood with cutting-edge tech without breaking the bank.

The concept is actually quite straightforward. EM3 works with farmers who own equipment like tractors, harvesters and other mechanical implements by allowing them to ‘rent’ out their assets to help pay off the purchase or generate additional revenue. Farmers, typically those in remote regional with small holdings and limited capital, then get access to quality implements and machines on a pay-as-you-use basis on either an hourly or acreage pricing.

That’s important when most farms in India are smaller than three acres. Tight economics, and a reliance on loans to make big-ticket purchases, are thought to be a key factor responsible for a high level of suicides among farmers over the past twenty years.  Full Article:

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