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Agritech landscape in India: The amalgamation of agriculture and technology

With technology, the conventional agricultural sector is about to go through a revolution. Explore how!

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Agriculture is the backbone of every economy. Irrespective of a country’s development, agriculture is necessary because it provides food to its citizens. However, farmers in the agriculture sector face multiple problems while growing crops. Despite various efforts from the government, some of these problems continue to persist. One solution towards making agriculture easier for farmers, especially for small-time farmers, is agritech.

Today’s article discusses the meaning and importance of agritech, along with the agritech landscape in India.

What is agritech?

Agritech is a combination of two words – Agriculture and Technology. As the term suggests, it is a concept that involves the use of technology in agriculture. The objective of using technology is to improve the productivity and efficiency of agriculture to increase yield while making the process convenient for farmers.

Also read: The past, present, and future of the Indian agriculture industry 

The importance of agritech for the growth of agriculture

The use of technology in agriculture helps farmers overcome various problems concerning climate change, resources and the productivity of their crops. Agritech also helps in sustainable farming by preserving the health of the soil and increasing the quality of crops. Besides, agritech contributes immensely towards increasing the efficiency of farmers.

Following are some ways through which technology helps agriculture:

  • By reusing crop remains to improve the efficiency of soil, instead of burning or throwing them, hence contributing to sustainability.
  • By developing mechanisms that help farmers reduce labour but increase the production of their crops.
  • Easy and quicker means of production can increase supplies and lower the costs of products, making them more affordable to all sections of society.
  • By playing a significant role in intimating farmers about weather forecasts so that they are prepared well in advance to handle climate change.
  • By using techniques like precision farming to resolve water shortages, control the use of artificial fertilisers, and optimise the entire agriculture process, in general. 

Agritech industry in India

The agriculture industry contributes close to 18% to the country’s GDP and employs over 40% of the country’s population. The agriculture market of $435 billion as of 2022 is expected to reach over $580 billion by 2028. A significant force for this growth is technology in agriculture.

While the potential of the agritech industry in India is valued at $24 billion, the market penetration is less than 1.5%, indicating that the space is largely unexplored. The country has witnessed over 1300 agritech start-ups coming up over the last six years, but there is immense opportunity and space for many more.

Also read: Biotechnology industry in India: A sector overview & future prospects

Opportunities for agritech start-ups

Technology-based companies interested in penetrating into the agritech market can involve themselves in multiple capacities. Following are some kinds of agritech start-ups in India:

  • Downstream agtechs: Helps in connecting farmers with businesses or end consumers.
  • End-to-end ecosystem: Helps in multiple areas throughout the agriculture process to improve inputs and outputs.
  • Digital solutions and precision agtech: Helps farmers by observing the process thoroughly and advising them with solutions to tackle issues.
  • Midstream agtech: Helps farmers in the supply chain by providing solutions on logistics, warehousing, etc.
  • Agribiotech: Helps farmers with biotech solutions to improve sustainability in agriculture.
  • Farm-to-fork: Helps farmers connect directly with end consumers.
  • Agriculture automation: Helps farmers with tools and machines to automate or mechanise agricultural processes.
  • Agriculture fintech: Helps farmers with finances.

Agritech companies in India

Some well-known agritech companies in India are as follows:

  • Ninjacart

Established in 2015, Ninjacart is headquartered in Bengaluru. The firm works in the farm-to-fork segment and aims to deliver fresh goods from farmers to consumers. Besides this, they also provide affordable finances and advisory solutions to farmers regarding market trends, deals on raw materials, etc. 

  • Agrostar

Working in the end-to-end ecosystem segment, Agrostar works on a mission to help farmers win. The firm provides technology-based solutions to farmers to improve their yield, reduce their costs, increase their market reach, and also set fair prices for their products. Besides, the firm also provides farmers with a channel to sell their products in the local and global markets. 

  • Cropin

Cropin primarily operates in the digital solution and precision agtech space. The firm uses trillions of data sets to come up with solutions to solve problems around supply chain efficiency, finance, yield quality, market volatility, crop loss management, etc. It also has various applications that help farmers digitise the process wherever possible.  

  • DeHaat

This is another start-up operating in the end-to-end ecosystem segment. DeHaat aims to use AI-based solutions to resolve various problems of farmers, mainly in production and supply chain. They also provide advisory and financing solutions to farmers. The firm is active in 12 states and has a network of over 1.8 million farmers.

  • Crofarm

Established in 2016, Crofarm is another start-up working in the farm-to-fork space. The company aims to bring farmers and consumers together, to provide consumers with fresh farm produce at fair and affordable prices. The company also operates in the supply-chain space and aims to use technology to reduce the wastage of fresh products due to delays in logistics.

  • Intello Labs Pvt Ltd

Intello Labs is an agritech start-up in the midstream agtech sector, aiming to use AI in the supply chain to reduce the problem of food wastage. The company works towards digitising the entire supply chain process in agriculture, including checking the quality, monitoring the shelf life, sorting the products, packing them, etc. By automating these steps, Intello has been able to reduce manual effort by 25% and rejections due to damage by 40%.

  • Kheti Gaadi

Kheti Gaadi is a one-of-a-kind agritech start-up working in the agriculture automation segment. The objective of this firm is to provide a platform to connect buyers and sellers to trade tractors and other tools required for mechanising agriculture.

Bottomline

The importance of agriculture for an economy is paramount since it is essential for the survival of citizens. The growing need for food has now caused undue pressure on agriculture, which is why, using technology to improve efficiency is crucial.

The agritech space is slowly gaining popularity but is still not tapped to its full potential. However, the use of AI and other cutting-edge technology by existing start-ups to enhance the quality of agriculture is indeed a powerful force in driving this industry to new heights.
Also read: Here’s everything you need to know about Nova Agritech Limited’s IPO

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StockGro Team

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