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Axis Bank partners with Bayer’s better life farming (BLF) initiative in India

Mumbai: Life sciences firm Bayer on Friday said it has partnered with private sector lender Axis Bank for its better life farming (BLF) initiative in India to provide enhanced and holistic financial solutions to smallholder farmers and rural farming communities. Through the partnership, Axis Bank will offer end-to-end financial solutions and services such as affordably priced loans, deposits, withdrawals and payments, Bayer said in a statement.

Digital financial solutions and doorstep delivery of these services will be part of the bank’s offering to ensure convenient and hassle-free transactions.

These solutions will be offered through Bayer’s BLF centres, owned and operated either by a farmer producer organisation (FPO), federation, agri-graduate or a local farmer or entrepreneur.

Launched globally in April 2018, BLF is a global, multi-stakeholder alliance, which works with partners across the agri-value chain to support smallholder farmers in developing economies to increase crop yields and farm incomes.

In India, each BLF centre consists of a group of 500 farmers from 5-6 nearby villages where an agri-entrepreneur provides smallholder farmers with access to agri-inputs, crop advisory, irrigation best practices and new technologies.

“Affordable farm credit, farmer financing and digital banking solutions rank as high priorities for rural farming communities,” Bayer CropScience MD and CEO and Global Lead for Bayer’s Smallholder Farming D Narain said.

He added that our partnership with Axis Bank will help deliver last-mile connectivity and create a more inclusive agri ecosystem, where all smallholder farming needs such as agri-inputs, agri-advisory and knowledge are taken care of under one roof.

Axis Bank MD and CEO Amitabh Chaudhry said, “We have invested in providing end-to-end financial solutions for the agrarian and rural population, which have been built on the backbone of sound digital and technology capabilities to deliver secure financial products and seamless services.”

He added that this partnership achieves multiple goals including promoting rural entrepreneurship and delivering holistic financial solutions under one roof at the doorstep of the rural community.

Currently, over 150 BLF centres are operational in India in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar with plans to expand to West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

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