India is known around the world for its agricultural prowess. The Indian agriculture sector provides livelihood to nearly 60% of the rural populace. The half-yearly GVA by agriculture and allied sectors is estimated to be 18.8% of the total GVA in FY22. Between April 2020 and February 2021, the export of agricultural and related goods was Rs 2.74 lakh crore, up from Rs 2.31 lakh crore between April 2019 and February 2020. This is a big jump of 18.49%.
The available data suggests that there are numerous opportunities for agritech companies and start-ups to thrive in the Agri market.
India is poised to meet rising food demand and double farmers’ income through innovative methods such as protective farming.
According to one estimate, if all agricultural land in India were used for protective farming, the market would be worth USD 6 billion. The main reason for the low adoption rate, though, is that farmers don’t know much about protective farming and how their products might be exposed.
The Need for Sustainability in the Agriculture Space
People all over the world rely on agriculture to meet their basic needs. As the world’s population grows, so does the demand for food, posing the threat of resource scarcity. Thus, it is critical for everyone to save depleting resources and implement methods such as protective farming to achieve sustainable agriculture.
The 2030 Agenda says that all areas, but especially agriculture, should be looked at from three different points of view: economic, social, and environmental.
Sustainable agriculture encourages the use of nonrenewable resources in moderation. It advocates for reduced land use, a switch to renewable energy, and the reduction of soil pollution.
Protective farming is a method that uses a variety of tools, techniques, and technologies to help plants grow in spite of unpredictable weather, weeds, pests, and other bad conditions. Farmers can produce a wide range of fruits, flowers, and vegetables all year, which is more cost-effective because crop covers, shade nets, and bug nets are used around crops.
Hence, it is critical to raise farmers’ awareness of these practices. Fortunately, agritech startups like GROWiT have sprung up all over India. These companies help Indian farmers adopt sustainable farming methods and give them access to new tools and solutions.
Agritech startups are constantly working to improve their products and farming operations in order to mitigate the effects of the current environmental disaster’s unpredictable weather. Agritech companies provide farmers with products such as mulch film, mulch laying machines, shade nets, crop covers, grow bags, vermi beds, weed mats, insect nets, Agri wires, and so on.
Moreover, farmers can benefit from a variety of schemes offered by the companies. Farmers are taking notice of agritech companies like GROWiT’s warranty, guarantee, and buyback programme. The company recycles the used products, which also helps reduce the overall carbon footprint.
According to Invest India, the country’s agritech industry will grow to USD 24.1 billion over the next five years, from its current size of about USD 204 million. The surge has been greatly contributed to by the rise of artificial intelligence and other innovative tech companies in the Indian Agri space.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) study, the Indian food processing market received approximately USD 10.43 billion in equity from foreign direct investment between April 2000 and June 2021.
The government is encouraging the use of drones in agriculture and offering financial aid through its “Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization.” In line with this, the government has also set up 729 Krishi Vigyan Kendras at the district level pan India to encourage the use of technology and improve the food chain.
The government has extended its support for sustainable agriculture and practises such as protective farming through the promotion of sustainable methods. These practices will promote the expansion of agritech enterprises while also significantly contributing to the development of a resilient farmer ecosystem.
(The Author Saurabh Agarwal is the Director and CEO of GROWiT India Pvt. Ltd, the country’s first Direct-to-Farmer (D2F) protective farming agritech company.)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)