A golden opportunity in crisis? Decoding agri-tech post pandemic


By Pankajj Ghode
While the nation grapples with Covid-19, there are two worries that concern us all – the primary being the well being of India’s giant inhabitants and the way one can minimise the extent of injury. And, second, what would be the way forward for our companies after the pandemic eases?

Given that agriculture accounts for practically 60% of mixture employment in India, there’s a good diploma of concern over what’s going to occur in the longer term, particularly post this life-threatening illness.

It is necessary to notice that regardless of the lockdown and the supply-chain impacted nationwide, the federal government is working extra time to make sure straightforward availability of greens, fruits, dairy and different necessities. Even in such a disaster, agriculture took centre-stage. And why is that? Because ‘food’ can by no means exit of enterprise. After all it’s a primary necessity for survival.

However, we’ve witnessed that agriculture can not survive solely on conventional strategies and desperately wants large-scale technology intervention to resolve numerous pre/post-harvest agri-chain woes, which can in flip enhance wholesome manufacturing and income.

As per NASSCOM’s 2019 report, India is dwelling to greater than 450 agri-tech start-ups, rising at a price of 25% yearly. The sector has acquired greater than $248 million in funding, which is a transparent indication of the agri-tech trade’s development potential. Given that the meals financial system impacts human inhabitants, there’s large scope for constructing a seamless ecosystem in the agri-technology house.

Post this adversity, 2020 will little doubt be a 12 months filled with challenges, with numerous points to resolve. However, with better investor curiosity and authorities partnerships, agri-tech corporations can absolutely tackle fast issues that threaten the agriculture house.

Fundamental points like poor soil high quality, water scarcity, low high quality seeds, local weather change, lack of market entry, insufficient storage services, ill-equipped warehouses, malpractices and poor credit score facility has crippled the agriculture sector. Only agri-tech corporations can fill this hole shortly with the assistance of high-end expertise like GIS, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, distant sensing, information analytics and numerous Internet of Thing (IoT) gadgets.

With 15 agro-climatic zones and completely different cultivation practices, India will profit from advances in digital farming.

In truth, blockchain applied sciences enhances transparency and traceability that may be leveraged to create extra environment friendly provide chains. Aggregating and organising the availability chain will additional promote higher standardised agri-market practices.

Instead of indiscriminate promoting of expertise which many can’t afford to purchase, offering expertise inputs on the intersection of shopping for and promoting to medium and small-scale farmers will result in incurring decrease price by the farming neighborhood and better acceptance of expertise. This is as a result of 86% of India’s farmers are small and marginal as per Agriculture Census 2015-16.

The agronomic intelligence will help improve micro-financing and credit score services for farmers and create quicker entry to traceability certification, which is helpful whereas exporting to the abroad market. Data analytics may even assist present correct inputs and discourage sale of spurious seeds and crop care merchandise to farmers. In order to grow to be sustainable, market linkages and networks are an important a part of any agribusiness, which is the main target of enterprises. Concentrated efforts are additionally being made to scale back dependency on intermediaries concerned in the worth chain which eats into the farmer’s revenue.

Agritech companies are geared up to offer viable farming options and the exercise in this trade will multiply manifold post the lockdown. These enterprises will create optimistic influence and can lead India’s journey in direction of total digital agriculture transformation.

Advanced mechanisms will help native farming be worthwhile enterprises. Hence emphasis needs to be on innovation, data-sharing, easy accessibility to working capital, infrastructure and allow real-time data entry to farmers throughout the nation. Quality, security, traceability and sustainability of meals produce will likely be a precedence for agri-economy stakeholders.

Going ahead, we will take a look at creating new collaborative, impartial platforms for sharing information and allow a tradition of transparency in addition to mutual accountability throughout world networks. This additionally means empowering shoppers and stakeholders with correct data.

The world disaster has introduced all of us collectively like by no means earlier than. Given the adversity, and the crying want for pressing and good options, we’re set to see one of the best minds at work to propel innovation. The dynamics of agriculture goes via a metamorphosis and the agri-tech trade is certain to vary the way in which enterprise of agriculture will likely be carried out. And that might properly result in one other inexperienced revolution-like transformation in India.

Pankajj Ghode is CEO, Agri10x, a number one agri-tech firm.

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