BHUBANESWAR: Milk Mantra Private Limited, one of Odisha’s leading dairy firms, on Monday announced its first digital payment directly into the dairy farmers’ bank accounts. An official of the firm said the initiative is a part of Milk Mantra’s efforts to empower dairy farmers especially women through digital financial services (DFS).
The farmers will now be able to withdraw cash staying in their villages. The initiative aims at creating a digitally-enabled rural financial ecosystem to enhance farmers’ income through DFS. The firm’s officials believe that the initiative has the potential to bring down financial services delivery costs for customers and service providers along with offering services at greater convenience and scale leading to economic empowerment and development.
Under the DFS initiative, financial transactions from Milk Mantra to over 500 dairy farmers across 15 villages in Puri district will be digitised. The firm has planned to launch the scheme across the State subsequently. “The key beneficiaries of DFS will be women staying in rural areas who have so far been lagging in their ability to make financial decisions, access savings and investment instruments and use formal banking facilities,” said Head, Sourcing of Milk Mantra, Anil Burman during the launch of the initiative.
Global development consulting and research firm Intellecap has been instrumental in developing the blueprint of the model and implementing it, while Airtel Payments Bank has been roped in as the payment technology and banking partner given its significant rural focus and market penetration in Odisha.
Airtel payments Bank has been instrumental in on-boarding the banking correspondent in target villages and in setting up bank accounts for the dairy farmers.