Dec 26, 2019
The development of agriculture is of utmost priority in the developmental strategy of our nation. In today’s world, in order for this to be a success, we need to take it hand in hand with technology and innovation. Bringing in innovation in any sector means that one can open new markets and opportunities and ultimately strengthen global trade.
It is therefore pertinent for agriculture start-ups to harness the offerings of the sector in order to create a ripple effect that will end up bringing up the nation’s economy. It can be said that it is only with the disruption of agri start-ups that Indian agriculture can flourish.
Technology is getting fast intertwined with agri business as a number of agriculture start-ups are coming up to solve India’s farming-related problems. According to Masterfox Consulting Group, the total funding in Agritech startups in India has grown from $46.1 Mn 2017 to $66.6 Mn in 2018 and it is expected the investment opportunity and funding will grow over the forecast period due to increasing agritech market.
Technology in Agriculture Business:
Technological innovation is that fuel which can run the engine of the agricultural business. The new technological solutions can build a smart agricultural value chain. Agritech start-ups are a meaningful solution across the agricultural value chain. They can be a product, a service or even an application that helps in agriculture. The idea of start-up and technology brings in a lot of insight, interest and innovation in any industry. Agriculture is no exception.
Demand & Supply Gap:
It is estimated that by 2050, the annual food grain production in India must grow to 333 million tonnes. Though the contribution of key food grains in acreage terms in India is 15%, the production contribution is a mere 8.7%. It is only with the use of innovative technology that we can meet the forecasted demand in a sustainable manner and move Indian agriculture along the growth path.
Though technology has bridged the gap in the agri start-up chain, there are still a lot of issues being faced by different companies in this sector. As they are working to solve issues in farming, it is important to find ways to overcome these concerns.
Problems that are being faced by Agritech Start-ups:
- Rigid Old Models
One of the major reasons for rejection of funding for agri start-ups have been the business models. The existing systems are too rigid that it is difficult to break and scale the new business models. There is a presumption that agriculture cannot have a viable business model and when the business models do not meet the expectations, the investors shy away.
- Lack of commercial guidance
When it comes to expansion of agri start-ups, what is needed is good commercial guidance. In fact this guidance is what aids them in networking, finding resources and gaining expertise, however, it is still not available in agricultural start-ups.
- Investor apathy
Considering that the sector is filled with a lot of uncertainties, there is a lot of investor apathy when it comes to agri start-ups.
- Lack of Subject Matter Experts or Mentors
One of the chief problems faced is that not many mentors are available in this space. The experienced ones who are available are not entrepreneurs and the ones you know have no idea about this space. There is also a need for education support for the next generation in the field.
- Application of Technology
When it comes to agri tech, there is also the issues faced by the end users. There is very little technology adoption here.
- Urban Investors Lack of Understanding
Investors mainly have urban backgrounds. These are people who mainly know to cater to urban demands. The problems and solutions of these start-ups may not be easily understood by these backers.
- Climate Change
The agricultural sector remains susceptible to the changing weather patterns as well as the impending threat of climate change. Floods, heat waves, and drought are some visible effects of climate change. It is a crucial factor that has a critical impact on the agricultural sector. Considering its large population and the widespread agricultural set up, India is one of the most-affected countries when it comes to global warming and climate change. Quick adoption of technology is important to withstand these unavoidable changes
Last Words and Recommendations
The future definitely lies in reviving farmers and we need to improve their livelihood. This can be a reality with agri start-ups. The time has now come for us to make agri start-ups successful and propel our nation forward as a leader in the agri technology sector too and this can only be done if you and I support this as well.
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