About sixty percent of the rural Indian households make their living from agriculture, thus generating a gigantic scope for AgriTech startups in the country. These AgriTech startups are proactively making efforts to remove inefficiencies in the agricultural supply chain and creating opportunities for lucrative investments. These startups involve technology, modern products, and services used in agriculture to upsurge the yield and profitability. In addition, the central and state Government is promoting and aiming for policies to improve farmers’ lives in India.
Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to the Indian Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The GDP of agriculture sector in India was recorded with more than 244 billion USD in the FY’16 and is likely to grow by two percent in 2017-18 with the introduction of AgriTech startups. These organizations and startups are focusing on capital and investments in agricultural infrastructures and providing with enhanced irrigation facilities, warehousing, and cold storage
Overcoming the Complexities
In India, the framers have to face acute challenges for attaining stability in the agriculture sector. Independent research states that they are unable to receive and use agri-inputs on time like seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, and agro-chemicals. They have to face problems such as small and fragmented landholdings, decreasing land versus growing population, decreasing number of aquifers, unorganized marketing structure for production, inadequate facilities for transport and storage, limited access to superior technology, and finance.
Observing this scenario, the AgriTech startups in India, are providing the farmers with agri-inputs. These startups are working hard to study and analyze the agri-market environment, thus leading to the positioning of agri-products, designing of the distribution channels and many other opportunities for the Indian agriculture. These organizations are also motivating the science, biotech, and agriculture engineering students to lend their support to the agriculture and launch AgriTech startups. The AgriTech startups provide the farmers with agri-business counseling, guidance, expert services and advice on harvesting practices, distribution of technology, and crop protection practices.
Acquiring the Opportunities
The AgriTech startups are enabling the connectivity of farming practices with the masses by linking the consumer and producer. Their opportunities lies in area dealing with increasing crop production and their nutritional value, reduction in the input prices, betterment of the overall process-driven supply chain, reducing wastage in the distribution system, and easy agriculture mechanization practices. They have the prospect to provide correct information techniques and acquire each and every opportunity in stabilizing the agriculture with better pre-harvest and post-harvest applications. They are also leveraging technology in the area of market linkages such as retail, B2C and B2B marketplaces and digital agronomy platforms. They are now able to monitor input challenges of agriculture in India from the very traditional agriculture operations.
AgriTech Finance in India
There are certain kind of AgriTech startups that are focusing on the banking, insurance, and loans for the execution of agricultural operations. According to an independent analysis, there has been an investment in the AgriTech startups of about twenty billion USD. The Indian AgriTech ventures raised approximately three hundred and thirteen million USD from this investment. There is prominent funding with more than four hundred million USD in agriculture technologies, agricultural data capturing devices and farm management software. The investments in startups that are using novel and innovative farming systems to produce agricultural products are more than two forty million USD. In addition, the Government has emphasized on the support of the technology, which should be cost-effective, farmer-friendly and scalable.
The international funds and especially PE and VC funds are investing in AgriTech startups to evolve from the traditional e-commerce, logistics businesses to better-established agriculture domain in India.
Looking into the Future with AgriTech Startups
The government plans to support the AgriTech startups, which leads to an increase in the Indian agricultural revenue in the coming future. These AgriTech startups are planning for some of the niche interesting business models to enhance the Indian agriculture platform, which includes the vertical farms, hydroponics, aeroponics, and other software platforms. The integration of technology with the agriculture would provide the farmers with gigantic market linkages and on-farm diagnostic equipment. The AgriTech startups will transform the future of Indian agriculture with the greenhouse and end-to-end farm enabling processes. They are planning for the concept of Future Farms, which will be the supplier of urban farming and will be fully automated on various parameters.
The new-age AgriTech organizations would offer integrated sensors, mobile connectivity, and decision tools for cost-effective aquaculture monitoring and automation. They would come up with online platforms for group buying of farm inputs and enhancing the connection of the farmers with retailers. Besides, with the emergence of AgriTech startups, the Indian Agriculture will witness the innovation of a quadrotor, which will perform operations related to the precision agriculture.