There are several challenges this sector faces such as low yield, poor infrastructure, lack of credit availability, and climate change.The effects of these problems are more pronounced in the upstream value chain, especially at the farmer end. Several startups have emerged (but most of them are yet to break even) and funds (from private as well as public sector) have flown in.
of the most significant developments in recent years has been the adoption of
precision agriculture technologies. Precision agriculture is essentially a
management strategy that gathers and analyses data using advanced tools and
technologies to make informed decision in order to enhance productivity,
quality and sustainability of agriculture. Several companies like CropIn, Farmwise
and Aerobotics are providing farmers with these technologies.
is a SaaS-based agribusiness solution company founded in 2010. It has a network
of 7M+ farmers. It recorded a revenue of INR 19Cr in FY21 growing at 33% CAGR
over FY18-21. It gathers data from farms using drones and IoT, lending
institutions, traders and satellites to provide farm management, risk and
assessment, and traceability solutions to farmers, lending institutions, food
processing companies and exporters.
area of technology adoption in Indian agriculture is the use of mobile apps for
market linkages where farmers can sell their produce at prices competitive to
APMC mandis at much greater convenience. Agribazaar, Bijak, DeHaat and WayCool
are some such companies.
started in 2017 by the promoters of StarAgri, is one of India’s leading
startups in the agri output space in terms of GMV traded. It facilitates
procurement from farmers, B2B trade between traders and processors as well as
trade by NAFED and government bodies. It is one of the very few agritech
startups with a positive EBITDA and a revenue of over INR 25Cr.
major area of concern that needs tech interruption is the availability of
credit and other financial services like insurance for farmers. Lack of formal
credit, high interest rates charged by informal lenders, complex processes, and
delay in implementation of crop insurance schemes are the major challenges that
can be addressed by the agri fintech startups. Players like Jai Kisan,
Samunnati and Agriwise have come up with customized products addressing
specific farmer needs and simplified application processes.
conclusion, technology has the potential to transform the lives of farmers and
help the government fulfil its promise of doubling farmers’ income through
precision agriculture, market linkages using mobile apps, fintech and other
technologies by reducing their costs, improving yield and productivity, and
reducing wastages. While there are more challenges to overcome, continued
investments from the private sector and comprehensive policy changes by the
government can reform Indian agriculture and help unlock its full potential.