(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Agri Start-ups: Transforming Agripreneurship



(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Agri Start-ups: Transforming Agripreneurship

[October-2022]

Agri Start-ups: Transforming Agripreneurship



Introduction

  • Agritech start-ups work with technology at the core of their work philosophy and their uniqueness lies in the innovative ways they follow to link technological advancement to farmers. 
  • Most of the agritech start-ups have based their business models around state-of-the-art technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (Al), Machine Learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT) and the farmers are being introduced to the new agri practices and are getting exposure to the tools in a way they never were earlier. 
  • The Argi start-ups are undertaking various innovations to bring technology to the doorsteps of the farmers at affordable rates. 
  • This way these agritech start-ups are revolutionising agripreneurship.

Agri Start-ups in India

  • Due to the special focus on agri marketing and the use of technology in agriculture by the Government of India, the sector witnessed a sudden surge of small agri enterprises. 
  • The number of agritech start-ups has increased from 43 in 2013 to 1,300 by April 2022.
  • According to a study by India Brand Equity Foundation, the investments and growth phase for agritech start-ups started in 2019 and India has received total funding of USD 1.6 billion in these entities till 2021. 
  • Agritech funding stood at USD 245.2 million in 2019 which increased at a whopping 90% CAGR to USD 889 million as of 2021.

Categories of Agri Start-ups

Agri start-ups have mainly emerged into five categories namely:

  • Market linkage and supply chain
  • Farm inputs
  • Precision agriculture and farm management
  • Farming as a Service (FaaS)
  • Financial Services

Bringing Technology to the Fields

  • Vertical Farming: India is a country of small and marginal farmers with about 86% of the total farmers having less than 5 acres of land.
  1. Vertical farming is seen as a viable solution to the problem as this technology facilitates farmers to cultivate over 4-5 times more crops on a single piece of land.
  2. Vertical farming is also called four-level or five-level cultivation in which different types of crops are selected on the basis of their place of fruiting. 
  3. Vertical farming not just helps in increasing income but also ensures efficient use of water.
  • Hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics: these methods are also part of vertical farming where the necessary nutrients are supplied directly from water or air. 
  1. The most important aspect of these technologies is that they help people cultivate in their balconies or terraces or even drawing rooms.
  2. This has gained significant importance considering the ever-increasing urban population.
  3. Urban Kisaan, Urban Green Fate (UGF) Farms, Triton Foodworks, and 365Dfarms are some of the start-ups which are offering such unique solutions. 
  • Al Farming and Precision Farming: these technologies help farmers with weather forecasts based on real-time data, increase crop yield, pest control and monitor the soil. Cropin, Fasal, Intello Labs, AgNext, ReshaMandi and DeHaat are a few notable start-ups that are making their mark in Al-based precision farming.
  • Robotics and Drone Technology: using robotics and drone technology in agriculture can help address health hazards such as excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers.These technologies can also help to increase the efficiency of agriculture as it helps in the conservation of soil health and groundwater.
  • Agri Fintech Platform: arranging funds at the right point in time is key to success in agriculture. However, according to the data from RBI only 41% of the small and marginal farmers are covered by public and private banks. 
  • Organic farming: Agri startups involved in organic farming are playing a significant role in ensuring the authentic quality of bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides, vermicompost, natural compost, and jeevamrut at affordable prices.
  • Livestock Farming Technology: The Livestock Sector which is an agri-allied sector has been growing at a CAGR of 8.15% between 2014-15 to 2019-20.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra

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