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Miscellany-Digitising bookkeeping

A Varsha Rao July 12, 2016, 0:11 IST
ON THE GO Some of the app's features
A smartphone is the new basic necessity today. Be it a vegetable vendor or an IT professional, every person owns a phone that keeps him connected to the world. Farmers too are cashing in on this trend. After all, these small internet-enabled devices allow them to market their produce directly to their customers, gain knowledge on the happenings of the farming world and put them in touch with experts in times of need.

Mangaluru-based Mindstack Technologies and Krishi Kannada, a web portal focusing on Karnataka’s agriculture, also believe in the power of smartphones. So much so that they have collaborated to bring to the farmers a bookkeeping app called Farmoney. Available for free download from Google Playstore, Farmoney helps a farmer digitise bookkeeping.

Unique features
It consists of three major sections namely financial, farm-related activities and general. In the financial section, a farmer can keep record of his daily expenditures, income, loan details and other such financial aspects. In the farm-related activities section, he can record various aspects of farming. And this is where things get interesting. ‘Map my farm’ is a feature where a farmer can locate his farm on the map and record the kind of crops grown in his field every season. Also, he can record vital details of rainfall, his livestock, farmhands and their payments, among others. As the name suggests, general section allows a farmer to record his personal details.

Dr Mohan Talakalukoppa, founder of Krishi Kannada website, explains the need for such an app, “Earlier, farmers used to record every single thing in a book, which was tedious. As the world evolved, farmers started doing the same on computers. But even that is exhaustive. Since nobody had done anything of this sort on a smartphone, we decided to come up with this app. While the app is mainly targeted at the farming community, it can also be used by others.” Launched in April 2016 in Mangaluru, this app has seen over 1,000 downloads by the farmers in and around the area. Mohan is of the belief that tech-savvy farmers of Dakshina Kannada have benefited from this app.

Naturally, Farmoney is earning praises from most of its users. “Farmers need something more comprehensive than a physical book for proper financial management. We wanted to solve this problem so as to help farmers deal with their money in a more organised manner,” avers Arun Bhat, CEO, Mindstack Technologies. Mohan marketed this app through agricultural magazines and some WhatsApp groups he is a part of. Arun believes more funds will help them reach out to a greater number of farmers in and around the State. According to Mohan, one of the best features of the app is the fact that farmers can generate reports based on the agricultural history of his or her farm in a long run. “Take for instance, a farmer who provides milk to the local dairy. He can record the quantity generated everyday, can create a solid report on his dairy activities and whether it is profitable or not,” says Mohan.

When I tell Arun the Map my Farm feature caught my eye, he explains that it is indeed an excellent feature. “In Map my farm, a farmer can record the kind of crops he grows in his farm every season and also look at what was grown there, say, maybe 10 years ago. But for this, we need to tie up with the government for the past agricultural data. As of now, farmers can start documenting their agri-data here, so that it will help them in the future.”

Talking about the future plans for the app, Arun says, “Many farmers who have used our app have got back to us with some suggestions, which we plan to incorporate in the subsequent updates. For instance, we are trying to include the local language so as to reach out to everybody. Also, we are trying to make the app more farmer-friendly by working on the user interface.”

In this constantly evolving world, it is imperative that even farmers be in sync with development. And Farmoney seems to be a stepping stone for just that. As Mohan puts it aptly, “It’s all about keeping information at your fingertips.”

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