Implementing Body

The Government of Assam (GoA), with the support of the World Bank, through the Krisarthak, is an assignment that has been initiated under the APART Project. The Government of Assam (GoA), with the support of the World Bank, through the Government of India (GoI), is implementing the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART). The Project Development Objective (PDO) of APART is to “add value and improve the resilience of selected agriculture value chains focusing on smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs in targeted districts of Assam.”

Krisarthak has been under the project’s sub-component C (iii) ‘Facilitating access to and responsible use of financial services.’ The assignment focuses on one of the three core activities under Project APART, which is financial education and counseling (FEC). This FEC assignment now christened as Krisarthak aims to provide ICT-based financial education and counseling services to a significant proportion of APART beneficiaries and reach out to 2,50,000 farmers in core value chains (agriculture, horticulture, dairy, fishery, handloom, sericulture) during 2022- 2024.

To implement Krisarthak a financial education and counseling (FEC) team has been formed consisting of a consortium of four partners namely the New Delhi-based Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) along with Fair Climate Fund (FCF), the Indian Institute of Banking Management (IIBM) and the Council for Social and digital development (CSDD).

Through Financial educational and counseling modules Krisarthak will be offering literacy on five core banking services and products defined as savings, insurance, pension, loan, and payment. The services are expected to be tailored to the needs of target beneficiaries and particularities of the value chain groups.

Assignment Objective

Transforming agribusiness, adding value to the sector and improving resilience of the farm communities will require focused inclusion of the farm communities in financial services. The inclusion can be achieved through relevant and sustained financial education, counseling, advisory and facilitation at the local level. This will largely increase demand, access and uptake for use of financial services by the community.

Keeping the above goal in mind Krisarthak has defined following program objectives:

>> To create a financial education and counselling ecosystem which will encourage farmers to integrate in organized financial system and enhance financial inclusion.
>> Develop and implement an ICT-based financial education module for target beneficiaries within the FPC fold.
>> To create digital awareness related to the access to financial product and services.
>> Offer personal financial advisory to individuals who need guidance in accessing core financial product and services or with financial planning.
>> To create budget diaries for such farm households who show interest in accessing financial counseling and advisory.
>> To create dedicated IVR network that will educate, counsel and advise farmers with relevant financial products and services.
>> Create Network of physically available Bittiya sahayaks for 24/7 query resolution related to the digital mode of delivery.
>> To develop comprehensive yet simple communications on financial products & services created in local language for farm community.

Mode of Delivery

Understanding that many members of farm community may not have easy access to smartphone, a working network or digital devices, Krisarthak has been designed to address these issues using a blended approach. The financial education and counselling under Krisarthak will be delivered using ICT based components that are supported with a network of local facilitators who will ensure that all farmers get access to the financial education and counselling. Here’s a brief over view of the channels to be used in the implementation process.

Bittiya Sakhi

This is an open source platform/Chatbot available on an android phone. Through this ICT based e-learning module all the resources and knowledge related to financial education will be disseminated. Click on the “Know more” button to learn how to use Bittiya Sakhi chatbot.

Know More

Bittiya Capsules

Bittiya Capsule encompasses all SMS campaigns and voice calls that will be delivered to the farm community from time to time. Through these sms and voice calls the financial education content will be disseminated among base phone users.

Know More

Bittiya Khetu

The call center is one of the major components of FEC delivery model. Farmers will be able to instantly connect with the call center with their queries, information needs and feedback on a toll free number in local language at a time of their convenience.

Know More

Bittiya Sahayak

They are the on field technical facilitators who will mobilise the farmers, do the Farmer’s Financial Health Survey, organise the workshops on how to use the ICT tools and also register the queries and feedbacks from farmers.

Know More

Core Team

Krisarthak is an ambitious project with a vision to reach a large populace with financial education and counselling in a definitive time frame. Such endeavour requires resources from diverse field and expertise. The Krisarthak team is divided into three tier formation. The central team involved in strategizing and steering the assignment is based in Guwahati. They also head the district level team comprising the district coordinators and field level resource personnel.

Dr. Syed Kazi

Team Leader

Chandra Goswami

Head of Communication & PR

Sharmistha Deka

Financial Inclusion Expert

The Advisory

The advisory board of Krisarthak comprises of specialists and experts have years of experience in their fields. These experts form the constellation of talent that can guide the FEC team ahe help Krisarthak offer a stellar output. Keeping a bird’s eye view and assisting the FEC team with necessary inputs, guidance, suggestions in myriad fields be it communication, finance , Financial literacy, banking products, digital and ICT tools etc.