Solving distress sale and post-harvest financing problems for small holderfarmers.

Past and Current Partners

CDL (University of Toronto), CIIE, IIM Ahmedabad, Mass Challenge USA, Pusa Krishi, IIT, Kanpur

Active Countries
Thematic area(s)
Inclusive Growth, Climate
Organisation Name

The Problem

Distress sale of harvests by farmers due to post-harvest demand-supply mismatch is a sad reality of the agriculture sector with some of the crops selling at 30-50% below the average yearly price, resulting in low realisable income for farmers. Additionally, smallholder farmers encounter difficulties in obtaining reasonable finance, due to the lack of recognisable collateral and the perceived high risk of lending to these communities by financial institutions. The existing system of warehouse receipt finance is largely manual and geared toward traders instead of farmers with a high risk of collateral fraud.

The Solution

Whrrl offers a blockchain-integrated digital lending & trading platform that connects farmers, warehouses, and banks to help farmers obtain instant credit of loans against their crop deposits made in affiliated warehouses, thereby avoiding a "distress sale" of their produce. Whrrl's blockchain technology-based platform ensures that fraudulent banking practices are eliminated, thereby unlocking credit flow to the ecosystem at a significantly reduced cost of underwriting while digital lending helps bring financial services to the doorstep of the farmers.

How it works?

  • Step 1: Whrrl onboards government/private warehouses and lenders on its blockchain platform
  • Step 2: The farmer/borrower logs into the mobile app and selects a nearby warehouse serving his/her needs and books a slot in the warehouse of choice
  • Step 3: Farmers bring their harvested crops to the warehouse where a quality and quantity check is performed
  • Step 4: Once the deposit is completed, the warehouse operator logs into the Blockchain web application and generates the tokenised warehouse receipts which are automatically shared with the farmers on their mobile app
  • Step 5: The borrower selects the particular receipt in the mobile app and applies for a loan to the bank of his/her choice from the banking marketplace, which is when the WHR and all details related to the farmer and the commodity are shared with the respective bank.In case the borrower is unable to use the mobile app or does not have a phone, the warehouse operator assists them at the kiosk to apply for a loan
  • Step 5: On receipt of the loan application, banks issue the loan in real-time
  • Step 6: Once approved, the money gets credited to the borrower's bank account and an auto-lien is created in the warehouse blockchain network.On repayment of the loan, the lien is also removed automatically Step 7: Whenever the farmer wants, he/she can sell the warehoused commodity on the mobile app to a pool of online buyers and the payment received from buyers will be used to repay the claims of the bank first and the excess amount will be credited to farmer's bank account using an escrow mechanism
Digital X Solution Whrrl

Bridging the digital divide

Whrrl's platform offers farmers Warehousing, Warehouse Receipt Finance & Marketplace facilities to solve their "distress sale" issues, and access to finance & market linkage problems. Farmers who cannot access the mobile application or who are not digitally literate can carry out the digital lending/trading activity at partner warehouses.

Impact and highlights

  • Currently live in 1,400 warehouses.
  • Tokenized $600M+ commodities.
  • Served 10,000+ smallholder farmers by disbursing digital loans worth $6M+ within the last 12 months.

Plans for expansion

Whrrl is looking to expand its operations to global south markets starting with South East Asian & African Markets. As a part of an international expansion plan, they have already entered into partnerships in the Philippines and Singapore and are actively working on commencing operations in the coming quarter (2022).