Milk Mantra launches digital payments directly to dairy farmers’ accounts

Puri: Milk Mantra Pvt Ltd, a leading private dairy player in the state of Odisha, on Monday announced its first digital payment directly into dairy farmers’ bank accounts.

The organization has been working towards empowering rural communities in India and this initiative is part of their efforts to empower women through digital financial services (DFS). The farmers were also able to withdraw their cash within the village itself, and were quite happy with this convenience.

The initiative aims to create a digitally-enabled rural financial ecosystem to enhance farmers’ livelihoods through use of DFS. These solutions have the potential to drive down financial services delivery costs for customers and service providers, as well as offer services at greater convenience and scale, opening the door to economic empowerment and development.

As a part of this initiative, financial transactions from Milk Mantra to more than 500 dairy farmers spread across 15 villages in Puri District would be digitized to begin with, with further expansion subsequently rolled out across the state based on initial success.

Speaking on the launch of this event, Anil Burman, Head Sourcing of Milk Mantra stated, “The key beneficiary of deploying such DFS channels are rural women, who have so far been lagging in their ability to make financial decisions, access savings and investments instruments and use formal banking
facilities.”

Commenting on this initiative Himanshu Bansal, Head – Financial Services Consulting, Intellecap said, “The project aims to drive digital financial inclusion by leveraging digital payments to enable larger financial objectives such as improved banking and savings, as well as enhanced access to credit for dairy farmers through use of alternate data generated through this process. Creating a digital ecosystem is key to success here as isolated digital payments interventions have not been very successful, especially in rural India.”

Global development consulting and research firm Intellecap has been instrumental in developing the blueprint of this model and implementing it on the ground while Airtel Payments Bank has been brought in as the payment technology and banking partner for this initiative given their significant rural focus and market penetration in Odisha.

Airtel Payments Bank has been instrumental in setting up bank accounts for the dairy farmers, on-boarding the banking correspondent in the target villages, and enabling Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) based transactions.