How FarmERP helps Middle East’s agribusiness improve productivity, profitability, predictability
Founded in 2007, FarmERP is an end-to-end smart farming and data-driven farm management platform. Currently, it has a presence in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar in the Middle East.
When computer engineers Sanjay Borkar and Santosh Shinde were working with agri-businesses to develop agricultural multimedia content IT applications for companies such as , DuPont, , and John Deere, they found a gap in the ecosystem.
"If you want to record your consumption and keep the activities and their management in a systematised form, then there was no tool [for that]," Sanjay Borkar, CEO and Co-founder, FarmERP, tells YourStory Gulf. "What we thought was why not bring in an organised way of keeping records, analysing them, and working on data-based insights?"
After research, the duo founded the Pune-based technology platform,, in 2007 to make farm management efficient.
Four years later, the startup entered the Middle East, implementing its solutions in over 1200 hectares of farmland in Oman. Currently, it has a presence in Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and is serving more than 5,000 farmers in the Middle East.
FarmERP’s end-to-end smart and data-driven platform helps businesses strategise for procurement, processing, supply chain, financial management, and analytics.
“From grower reporting and farm mapping to inventory supervision and quality control (such as cleaning, grading, and packing) to food traceability and exports,” Borkar lists the SaaS startup’s offerings. It also helps in climate advisory, pest disease detection, quality analysis using AI, IoT device integration, and QR-based access control across business processes.
The company services sub-industries in the agriculture sector, such as plantation farming, contract farming, processors, and exporters. It serves agribusinesses with mid-to-large-sized farms of between 1,000 and 100,000 hectares. It also works with farmers, contract farming companies, FPOs (farmer-producer organisations) and FPCs, funding agencies, trade bodies, research and development agencies, financial institutions, corporations, and government bodies as well.
The platform is used across 675,000 hectares of land to manage 120 crop varieties. It has helped 1.3 million farmers, directly or indirectly, for higher productivity, revenues, viability, and traceability.
It aims to target two million acres in the next two years. It has a farmer-facing app available in Arabic, Urdu, and English.
“We revolve [our business] around four crucial points—food safety, traceability, regenerative agriculture, and climate resilience,” he explains.
Foothold in the Middle East
FarmERP deploys its software in more than 30 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
The company’s entry into the Middle East has been curious since the region is not widely known for its agriculture but FarmERP saw a gap to bridge.
“As this region is not known for its agricultural output, the focus is on food security and water conservation. Companies in this region are investing heavily in Africa and other parts of the world to ensure food security,” Borkar says.
Venturing into the Middle East also helped them expand their business.
“The software was primarily designed for small farmers in India who were exporting their goods, but later, we realised that going to farmers was not helping us scale up, so we went to corporate, and that’s how we went to the Middle East,” he explains.
In the region, FarmERP works with berry companies that grow blueberries and strawberries under controlled conditions. They use the platform to capture the harvest and determine the performance of their skilled and expensive labour.
For example, the workers pick up the berries and bring them to the pack house in 3-4 picking cycles. For the farm, it can become difficult to keep track of which labour has brought how many berries. Through an extension, the Farm ERP mobile app can track the number of berries a labour picks up by scanning their face.
The native app is available for both Android and iOS. The farmers can push the data to the cloud dashboard without needing internet connectivity.
The B2B SaaS platform charges an annual subscription fee in the range of $1,500-$2,000 per user, depending on the customer's needs.
In addition to private institutions, the startup has also been a service provider to government agencies and organisations in the Middle East.
Borkar adds, “The agritech space in the Middle East is growing steadily. As a growing trend, many vertical/indoor farming projects are being initiated. There is also an increase in online ecommerce platforms for food and agriculture.”
Drawing upon AI and ML
FarmERP's intelligent agriculture advisory platform FarmGyan, launched in January 2022, helps cassava farmers by extending the life of their crops through the use of AI, machine learning, computer vision-based operating systems, and deep learning.
Using drone images, an AI model counts the number of plants and identifies weed infestations. It also helps make informed crop management decisions, such as replanting and organising weed control strategies.
In addition, the platform helps farmers use sensors, agribots, drones, and other IoT devices for precision farming, detect crop and soil moisture, managing crop water requirements, and managing irrigation practices through its satellite-based crop health monitoring tools.
The company collaborates with companies including Soil Sense and Auto Aqua for hardware, including drones, soil sensors, automated irrigation systems, and, in some cases, legacy software systems.
FarmERP has deployed FarmGyan in Nigeria and will further expand it to Thailand, Indonesia, Angola, and Ghana.
It competes with ERP platforms like SAP, Oracle, and indirectly with Sage in the Middle East.
Edited by Kanishk Singh