For farmers’ organization (FOs) in India, one of the key areas of emphasis in the recent years has been the use of technology by grassroots women to increase efficiency and cost effectiveness of last mile operations and to improve delivery.
Towards this, SEWA, in partnership with the private sector, has piloted several innovative mobile based ICT applications. Designed in the local language with particular emphasis on ease of use, these ICT applications have shown significant promise in improving grassroots operations, and have been marked by SEWA for upscaling across Gujarat and other States.
Some of these applications are:
PaySe and mPaise
Peer-to-peer e-wallet payment solutions which have been pilot tested with 10 Savings Groups in the Mehsana District and are now being extended to 50 groups in the second phase
A Mobile Application for Savings Collection – till date 1500+ SHGs (10,000+ members) are boarded on mBachat installed on mobile phones and tablets. Grassroots leaders are carrying tablets installed with mBachat to the villages and feeding members’ savings information real time. By using mBachat, cost (30%-40%), efforts and time (50%) have been reduced and productivity has increased
SEWA Membership Management System (MMS)
SEWA is developing and implementing a database management system in order to collect its members’ basic profile and financial details. Till date 1400,000+ unique ids have been assigned and forms are printed in 4 languages to collect and complete the members’ profile collection
Rudi Sandesha Vyavhar (RSV) Mobile Application
Rudi Sandesha Vyavhar mobile application provides accurate timely information to farmers and grants women producers with an affordable, simple-to-use, easily accessible mobile tool, which enables them to place orders for new stock, keep track of their inventory and sales, and even run credit outstanding reports on their customers–all using just their basic feature phones.
Besides the tangible impact on operational efficiency, the use of these digital applications by grassroots women makes them familiar and comfortable with technology and readies them for other mobile based banking solutions
Awareness of digital payment platforms, capacity building training and practical application of digital skills during their day to day dealings, created a comfort level with digitization for all our members. Hence, during the November 2016 switch from ‘cash to cashless’ a majority of our members could manage the transition smoothly, calmly and skillfully–with just a little crucial intervention from SEWA.