Agriculture is a key pillar of Indian financial system however continues to be beset with structural drawagains. Common landholding measurement has declined from 1.15 hectares in 2010-11 to 1.08 hectares; with round 68 per cent marginal farmers and worth chain of most crops continues to Include a quantity of intermediaries. Whereas manufacturing And curlease chain inefficiencies abound maintaining farmers small and marginal, the nation is catching up with worldwide tendencies of each consumption (pure, healthful, comfort) and Requires sustainability. There’s An instantaneous want for disruption Inside the sector led by know-how, As a Outcome of it has potential To unravel for factors of scale, scale again intypeation asymmetry And permit for curlease chain disintermediation to make farming extra worthwhile, inclusive and equitable.
Around 1,000 startups have emerged in agri-tech with over $3 billion PE/VC funding Inside the final 10 years. This enthusiasm has additionally captured consideration Of huge gamers like Olam, which is undertakeing precision agriculture, digital warehousing and traceability. Agri-tech is rising throughout The worth chain with gamers in agri-finance like Samunnati creating internetworking And intypeation dissemination plattype for FPOs, CropIn offering precision farming by way of yield prediction, climate-enter based mostly advisory, AgNext & IntelloLabs offering worth chain infrastructure innovation by way of seen sorting-grading, extreme quality testing and AgriBazaar offering e-plattype for output buying and promoting.
However, the agri-tech space has not but reached full potential with enterprise fashions of gamers still beneath validation. Key challenges embrace restricted funding for early-stage agri-tech corporations, lack of structured knowledge and entry to it and restricted undertakeion by farmers As a Outcome of of a fragmented buyer base.
For the digital revolution in agriculture To Obtain its potential, We now Need to Adjust to an ecosystem strategy:
Concerted movement by governments
Velocity up movement on Digital Agristack: MoA has revealed An idea notice on India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA) for commencing work on Agristack. The notice advocates for an ecosystem strategy with farmer On the centre — who takes intypeationrmed cropping selections empowered with precision agriculture and intypeation of The biggest time, place and worth to promote the produce, while curlease chain gamers additionally plan logistics on exact and well timed intypeation. Authorities should accelerate movement on constructing this plattype And convey out A intypeation coverage in agriculture to allay considerations about knowledge privateness and exploitation.
Proceed efforts on aggregation and outreach digital plattypes: Over the previous couple of years, a quantity of digital plattypes have been launched by the Centre and States for farmers. Whereas enhancement of digital Agristack might take time, such efforts Have to be strengthened In the meantime. Event: MoA launched the FARMS app — To join farm-equipment house owners with farmers requiring equipment on lease or for buy. The Tamil Nadu Authorities launched the Uzhavan app, which curleases a quantity of providers — collectively with intypeation on prices, subsidies, a nook for FPO merchandise, and so on.
Velocity up undertakeion of e-NAM Together with overhaul of mandi ecosystem: Given The biggest method forward for retypes is not sure, mandis stay The one related marketplaces. e-NAM is a digital internetwork with purpose of on-boarding curlease APMC mandis to create a unified nationwide Market for agricultural commodities. However, curleasely there are Simply one,000 e-NAM mandis.
Low undertakeion of e-NAM Might be attrihowevered to requirement of modification in State APMC Acts, lack of bodily infrastructure, poor knowledge joinivity, restricted technical expertise and Ignorance relating to advantages of e-NAM amongst farmers, fee brokers and retailers. Efforts Have to be beneathtaken to not solely onboard extra mandis however to additionally Arrange infrastructure like assaying, sorting-grading and warehouses, grade typeation basis sorting grading, assaying To Guarantee worth unlock, streamlining mandi processes To Guarantee utilisation and boosting inter-State commerce.
Empower district and State teams To steer agri-tech implementation on-floor: To ensure final-mile undertakeion, efforts Have to be beneathtaken to type State and district teams and traInside them on evolving agri-tech and floor-diploma implementation, join them with agri-tech startups, consider economics, type sharing plattypes, and setup block-diploma demonstration models.
Adoption by private sector
Discover your self to be agri-tech champions and assist undertakeion: Giant FMCG gamers should undertake agri-tech and assist upstream undertakeion by offering technical steerage, working capital assist all by way of preliminary years to supplier MSME models and farmers. Agrienterprisees Inside the gear space like warehouse, chilly storages can undertake digital hubs and join their models with agrienterprisees, farmers, retailers To reintypeationrce utilisation and curlease steerage on common upkeep.
Support enhancement and scaling of agri-tech options: Giant scale agrienterprisees can sponsor agri-tech corporations by appearing as strategic buyers, advisors and incubating promising ideas. They’ve to leverage their expertise throughout areas and crops To curlease expertise and allot places for pilot testing.
Mobile internetwork operators to assist with growing internet peinternetration: Whereas not all agri-tech options are internet based mostly, It is a key problem for wider outreach. As of 2020, while round 67 per cent of metropolis inhabitants are lively internet buyers, this metric stands at solely round 32 per cent of complete rural inhabitants. “Agri-tech facilities” Might be Arrange in district agriculture departments, the place farmers can come To collect intypeation till internet peinternetration reaches everyone.
Last mile outreach
Livelihood organisations, enhancement institutions Might Help in final-mile undertakeion: Livelihood organisations should work intently with farmers, FPOs to beneathtake teaching in advantages, utilization, funding planning and undertakeion of agri-tech. Event — a excellent medium And large farmer or a key FPO Might be made block champion To assist propagate undertakeion by completely diffelease farmers, group fundings Might be inspired to Arrange widespread-infrastructure, assist partnership of FPOs with large mandis and assist them Arrange and function agri-tech infrastructure like seen sorting grading or digitally related warehouses, and so on.
Companion with district teams for execution: Livelihood organisations can undertake blocks and work alongside district teams To understand confidence of farmers, ensure intypeation symmetry and information them on strategies of undertakeion To enhance realisation.
The agriculture sector in India wants An monumental push To Obtain The subsequent stage of enhancement and uplift livelihoods of the round 10 crore farmers and 25 lakh MSME models Inside the agriculture and meals-processing sector That are Counting on it. Technology has confirmed itself to be a key disruptor in most completely diffelease sectors And There Is not any set off that agriculture Ought to be left behind.
Sushma Vasudevan is Managing Director and Companion, and Simran Ahluwalia is Senior Affiliate, BCG. Views are private