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COVID-19: Kochi fintech start-up waives interest on farmer loans

Kochi, April 1 (IANS) With COVID-19 striking hard, Kochi-based fintech start-up Spoon has waived interest and processing charges worth Rs 25 lakh on agro-loans the company distributed to 136 farmers in the Nilgiris.

Kurian George, founder & CEO, Spoon, said the firm currently handles two major agro-impact investment projects located in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and the present waivers will be applicable to all loans disbursed between November 2019 and March 2020, in these projects in addition to the government-declared moratorium on EMIs.

“This will have an impact for around 1,000 people in the Nilgiris alone, where they are engaged in carrot, beetroot and potato farming while in Maharashtra, our loans are given to cotton farmers,” he said.

Spoon is currently specialising in impact agro-lending, providing hassle-free loans for cultivation to farmers. The company operates on the principles of impact financing and integrates this with smart technology to benefit the community at a larger scale.

Spoon helps farmers to incorporate tech-based scientific farming methods in place of traditional practices to ensure better yields.

Through the well-designed loan cycle that is concurrent with the crop cycle, Spoon eradicates two elements in farming, idle delay time and expensive intermediaries.

Vivek George, co-founder of Spoon, added Spoon’s structure is that it takes care of farmers’ dilemma and they pay off the loan.

“It is mutually connected. Hence in this current scenario where corona affects the economy, we have to take care of our farmers in the best way we could. Waiving the interest seemed to be the right way to go about it,” he said.




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