India-based B2B fresh produce supply chain company Ninjacart is banking on machine learning to improve operations, according to Thirukumaran Nagarajan, CEO, and Co-founder of Ninjacart.
“We are investing heavily in Machine Learning to improve forecasting, pricing engine, and crop recommendation to farmers based on our 5 years of data and research,” Nagarajan told BusinessLine.
“This will lead to lower food wastage and create higher predictability and sustainability for both farmers and us. Additionally, we continue to invest in supply chain technology and infrastructure to reach more customers and farmers contributing to the growth prospect of the sector enormously,” he added.
The Ninjacart CEO further emphasised upon the importance of technology in improving the agriculture sector, a need accelerated by the pandemic. The platform itself has heavily leveraged technology after its pivot to B2B supply chain in 2015.
“ We have come a long way in the last five years and seen immense growth and innovation in the sector. The pandemic has made things more prudent in terms of understanding the importance of technology in the agriculture sector,” Nagarajan said.
Use of technology
According to Nagarajan, moving forward, more farmers are likely to adopt technology to minimise losses.
“Indian agriculture is adopting technology to deploy smart farming technique. The space is attracting young minds and creating job opportunities,” the Nijacart CEO said.
“A lot of companies are heavily investing in technology to bring traceability infrastructure to capture end-to-end transparency in the supply chain, which will help consumers to trace fresh produce back to its origin,” he added.
From a consumer perspective, the food consumption pattern among Indians is also changing with time.
“The consumption pattern is changing in India as people are becoming more aware of eating healthy and safe food to build a strong immune system,” he said.
For Ninjacart, the adoption of technology has “not only helped farmers but also retailers, restaurants, and Kirana stores as they can review the quality and freshness of vegetables and fruits at their doorstep, without having to visit the market,” according to Nagarajan.
“Earlier, due to the engagement of multiple layers of middleman, there was poor quality management, thin margin, and almost zero data-driven supply chain,” he said.
The platform leverages radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to track deliveries. The platform in the past has leveraged deep machine learning to perfect forecasting to 97 per cent and reduce the overall wastage to 4 per cent, as per Nagarajan.
Ninjacart also has specific apps for the farmers to help them with demand forecasting, harvest planning and determining the price indent.