NEW DELHI, 26 January 2022: All India Farmers Alliance feels concerned about the reported unethical business practices being resorted to by certain ecommerce platforms.
In a letter to the Finance Ministry last week, AIFA detailed the series of suspicious and unethical activities of social commerce platforms, Meesho and few others, as reported widely in the ET and some social media platforms over the past year.
In a press statement, AIFA National Convener, Dr. Rajaram Tripathi said that the e-commerce platforms are expanding their reach in rural areas and have the potential to greatly benefit farmers and Indian agriculture through supply chain disruptions.
But if fraudulent activities start happening and unethical measures adopted by such platforms and startups for urban consumers today, then they are likely to resort the same on larger scale, when it comes to lesser aware and lesser educated or uneducated rural consumers, farmers in particular.
Dr. Tripathi expressed his deep concern and anguish about such practices, which will potentially kill the hugely promising system, which could otherwise revolutionise the entire supply chain system and massively benefit the farmers of India.
The particular case of Meesho, a Bengaluru based social commerce platform – funded by a clutch of foreign investors – which was started in 2015, claims to provide a market place through which businesses and individuals can sell products directly to customers.
Over the past one year, a series of fraudulent activities have been reported about Meesho which raises serious questions over the business practices of the startup and such other companies on how these are impacting citizens across the country.
AIFA wrote to the Government about these serious activities of Meesho as the company has significant focus towards targeting customers in the smaller towns and rural areas of the country. A share of these customers belongs to marginal and agricultural households who are not well-equipped or aware to of the ways to protect themselves against such well-thought activities.
Therefore, AIFA, as responsible organisation, representing the major farmers associations of the country, has brought these activities to the notice of the Government, seeking intervention by an appropriate agency to stop such companies from defrauding unaware customers so that the confidence of the consumers, especially in small towns and rural areas, is not shaken in the ecommerce system.
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