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Lokacart- Farm 2 Fork

Managing inventory during the COVID-19 is a huge challenge, especially for small businesses and farmers. Lokacart presents a very attractive IT platform that simplifies this problem. Procuring basic household items like vegetables, fruits, dairy and toiletries has been painful due to the lockdown. Lokacart addresses the problem with a very user-friendly application that can help millions.

This challenge of inventory management was addressed by the developers of the Lokacart app. This application is a joint initiative of Prof Ganesh Ramakrishnan, Dept of CSE, IIT Bombay, Prof Narendra Shah, CTARA, IIT Bombay and alumni Ashvin Gami, MD at StrategicERP and Mr. Vikram Bansal of Lokavidya Technologies Pvt Ltd.

Motivation and Problem Solving

Lokacart is a platform for enabling Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for e-commerce as well as inventory management and billing. An increasing number of hardworking farmers as well as MSMEs are being deprived of their fair share of money flow due to inaccessibility and lack of technical know-how. 

Apps that directly connect the MSMEs and the farmers to the consumers and sellers ensure everyone gets their fair share of the money. More so, in today’s times when the world is troubled with the COVID pandemic and markets are shut down, Lokacart provides an excellent platform for such farmers to reach out to the needy consumers and for the consumers to reach out to the able farmer who can fulfill their daily needs of fruits, vegetable and grain supplies. The platform is thus able to benefit all the stakeholders in the market.

The interface

Working of the application

There are three apps available on Google Playstore. Lokacart Admin for the seller, Lokacart for individual buyers and Lokacart plus for bulk buyers. 

People need to ask sellers and known vendors to register on the app and start listing their products. So in a way, it is different from other e-commerce apps available in the market as it protects grocers against competition and price wars, which is quite unnecessary during a pandemic.

The apps can be easily downloaded on any Android device.

The following are the links for short tutorials:

Lokacart on-field

Lokacart has over 50 sellers and around 5,000 buyers. One of the success stories for Lokacart platform has been through Abhinav Farmers. 

Abhinav Farmers Club is a national award-winning group farming initiative located in Mulshi taluka, of Pune district of Maharashtra. As of 2015, they had 5000+ members belonging to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.

Please visit the link below to see a successful application of Lokacart at Abhinav Farmers:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qKI_UBs4bHQ 

Future Plans for Lokacart

Lokacart is planning to collaborate with governments at various levels to benefit farmers as well as MSMEs and the entire supply chain. A long-term goal is to cover the entire cottage industry to improve its sales and distribution. 

Given the current situation, in light of the steps taken by the government to make the country self-reliant, technology platforms such as Lokacart like this can play an important role in the market.

We congratulate Prof Ganesh Ramakrishnan and Prof Narendra Shah and their team for this great initiative. Lokacart is the perfect example of ‘research for society’!

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