Agriculture, often thought to be traditional, is also on its way of turning into a high-tech industry as we witness a number of developments and advancements in machinery and a growing number of startups. New concepts like smart & precision farming, crop efficiency, and vertical farming bring a breath of fresh air to this field, leading to what is called AgriTech.
In a report titled ‘Agritech in India – Emerging Trends in 2019’, Nasscom revealed that growing at 25 percent year-on-year, India currently is a keeper of more than 450 startups in the agri-tech sector and has raised a funding of more than USD 248 million in the first six months of 2019.
“Over the recent years, the agri-tech sector in India has witnessed some of the global and sector-focused funds directly investing in agri-tech startups. As of June 2019, the sector has received more than USD 248 million funding, a massive growth of 300 per cent as compared to the previous year,” it said.
As per the report, there has been a 1.7-times increase in average farmer income in last decade, enabling farmers to try new tech solutions. More than 50 per cent of agri-tech startups offer supply chain solutions like market linkage, better access to inputs etc.
“India’s agriculture sector is advancing steadily towards its digital transformation and the startup ecosystem is playing a critical role here, bringing innovation and disruption in much-needed areas,” Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said.
“The findings of the report are a testimony to the potential of the Agritech industry and the opportunities that India presents in the agriculture and farming landscape,” Ghosh said. The report said Indian companies are increasingly looking at global markets to expand with focus on regions like Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
The report also highlighted new emerging areas like market linkage, digital agriculture, better access to inputs, FaaS (functions-as-a-service) and financing which are attracting large traction. These technology adoptions are enabling numerous agri-tech startups to bring forth farming-related advanced technological mechanisms to help local farming become a sustainable and profit-yielding enterprise.
Nasscom said it will continue its drive towards catalysing emerging tech startups, and work with the ecosystem to build category leaders and support startups to create not only for India, but also scale up and build for the world.