Commodity Online forays into Agri Commodity Financing

Commodity Online India Limited which runs India’s largest information and data portal has entered into partnerships with Federal Bank Limited and the National Collateral Management Limited (NCML) for the online distribution of agri financing through warehouse receipts.

The tie up is to focus on online marketing and distribution of loans for agri commodities against warehouse receipts and collateral management.

Commodity Online is rolling out an agri commodity financing platform through its flagship portal where farmers and traders can track commodity markets and warehouses online and get financing for their commodities quickly.

Commodity Online plans to aggressively get into the online space to provide financing for agri commodities with collateral management across India.

Agri financing against warehouse receipts is an underdeveloped, but a sector with vast potential in a country like India where only less than 40% of traders have access to institutional credit. Barely 10-15% small and marginal farmers get access to finance in India.

Agri loans against warehouse receipts were around Rs 5000 crores ten years back. Currently, banking institutions have lent around Rs 40000 crore against warehouse receipts.

According to George Iype, Managing Director of Commodity Online, the portal has rolled out an exclusive online platform wherein farmers and traders can track the spot market prices of all commodities live, check where warehouses are available and track research insights from each commodity market across India.

“Commodity financing has the potential to grow to a Rs 2 lakh crore business by 2025 in India. Commodity Online is focused on providing various easy financing solutions online through its partnership with Federal Bank,” Iype said. He further added that as Internet penetration increases, online platforms like Commodity Online will reach further into rural areas from where more business will get generated.

Those wanting to get agri loans with collateral management facilities can register in with their KYC details and get approval for the financing for a range of commodities very quickly,” Iype added.

In 2007 a separate Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) was established which introduced a negotiable warehouse receipt system. This opened up not only scientific warehousing techniques in India but also enabled commodity owners to take advantage of their produce as collaterals for finance. From a meagre 5000 crore financing in early 2000, the business is expected to grow at least 20 times in the coming 3 years.