Need for Quality Assessment in Trade

June 27, 2022

Changing climatic conditions, short shelf life, lack of quality standardization, fragmented supply chain, and production of highly perishable commodities due to improper storage facilities lead to tonnes of produce being wasted annually. Moreover, the traditional methods of conducting checks based on the size, colour, taste and the feel of the commodity continue to pose a significant challenge. With Seasonal variations, lack of skilled labour, localised markets and the dire need for objective and standardized quality parameters, deep technology and digital trade support have become the need of the hour. To bridge the gap between the farmers, growers, buyers and consumers, Praman has streamlined quality processes and created an equitable and symmetric trading market.

How is Praman changing the ecosystem?

Traditional sorting is subjective, lacks standardization and is largely limited to its geographic location. Praman uses data science, artificial intelligence, and computer vision, to objectively measure the surface quality of fruits, vegetables and spices. The Quality Assurance technology is image-based and processed through a proprietary and patented auto validator engine in real-time. All that needs to be done is capture images of their produce, one can also use a mobile phone. A quality report is automatically generated that is accessible to all users through a dashboard on any device. Such quality assessments ensure a fast, efficient and reliable process, that not only eliminates the need for manual assessment but also ensures fair prices and extensive market discovery. Furthermore, Praman ensures that the quality of the produce is mapped at every stage from procurement to receipt, hence making the process more transparent and efficient, thus significantly reducing any rejections and wastage.

Let’s take cardamom trading as an example. During the grading process, the size, colour, litre weight and defects are a few primary quality criteria taken into account. However, subjectivity in manual grading causes massive fluctuation in pricing during auctions. Praman’s quality assaying technology, powered by Intello Labs, is more than 95% accurate in cardamom quality grading compared to the 70% accuracy when using manual methods. This objectivity and precision make fairer pricing and true price discovery possible for both the grower as well as the trader.

Apart from having the largest repository of images (over 300 million) for quality mapping, Praman also offers a number of different assessment tools, like the Grading Machine, which is powered by Intello – Praman’s parent company. The Grading Machine provides a crystal clear picture of every pod attribute – size, colour, thrips and split as it delivers 360° full surface defect scanning.

The market linkages of horticulture and fresh produce trading had been contingent on manual assaying processes and agents. The Praman Exchange was one of the first successful exchanges to facilitate spot-trading, auctions and reverse auctions on a digital and large scale format. As a truly digital Exchange, besides automating workflow, Praman leverages the Intello Labs’ technology that makes data on the quality of the agri-produce remotely accessible, allowing traders to participate in real-time from anywhere, without the need to be physically present at auctions or market yards. This is democratizing the horticulture trading space with objectivity and true price discovery.

By conducting multi-channel and multi-commodity quality assaying and sorting, only the right produce reaches the next link of the supply chain. This allows farmers to sell the maximum volume of their harvest, and because of the standardised benchmarking for each commodity that can be done through the Exchange, it also allows farmers to quote the best price.

It has become evident by the results of the Exchange since its launch in August 2021, with the monthly transactions on the platform has exceeded INR 400 crore, making it the largest Horticulture Exchange in the world.

It is also key to mention that Praman’s journey toward becoming the largest horticulture Exchange in India is built on trust. As of February 2022, over 50,000 growers, 120+ FPCs,  FPOs, and co-operatives and 700 partners across 85 districts such as NITI Aayog, NAFED, the Spice Board of India, AP MARKFED, and J&K Horticulture Board, are working with Praman. All users on the Praman Exchange are registered through a simple but verifiable KYC process which solidifies the Exchange as one that is safe and secure.

With its cutting-edge technology, Praman aims to create a robust environment for buyers and producers to trade efficiently, economically and fairly. By eliminating irregularities in the supply chain, improving the scope quality assessment, providing access to a platform that enables fair price discovery, creating a strong market linkage by driving geographic expansion and market outreach for both buyers and sellers, and providing an array of services such as logistics, warehousing, and credit facilitation to enable seamless execution of trade contracts, Praman is making a massive dent in eliminating the food wastage problem that plagues the country.

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