The Indian agri-technology sector is witnessing historic growth. Led by increased market demand, a year-on-year investment surge and rapid integration of new-age technologies, this tectonic acceleration has pivoted agtech as one of the sunrise sectors in India.
The post-harvest space, in particular, is undergoing a transformative shift with innovative use of deep-tech solutions to solve persistent legacy issues that hamper growth across the food value chains. The galvanising action in the agtech sector is attracting diverse businesses as well as talented people to avail of its flourishing growth opportunities.
Demand for tech solutions
In the era of agriculture 4.0, the emerging agtech sector is poised to address the challenges that significantly impact agri-food value chains. Using the integration of new-age tech, agtech companies have built successful market linkages that have improved agricultural output and maximised productivity for agribusinesses.
This has spurred the demand for agtech services and solutions in the market, and also generated sectoral interest from leading domestic and international investors.
By some estimates, the agtech sector is poised to receive a massive investment influx worth $30-35 billion by 2025. With massive hopes and highs pinned on agtech, there are over 600+ agtech start-ups in India thriving in the country, and this number is increasing every day.
These young companies are laying the foundation for the future of agriculture by building digital frameworks, classifying and addressing bottlenecks, and re-writing the story of agriculture with data.
For instance, one of the key agriculture trade parameters — the quality of agri-commodities — is a major cornerstone that impacts the economic structure of the existing agricultural ecosystem. By digitising quality testing, to make it rapid, standardised and traceable, we can not only boost agriculture output but also limit business losses that impact all stakeholders in the value chain.
Harnessing the power of AI, machine learning, blockchain, IoT and other technologies, agtech start-ups in India are building optimum, market-specific and future-ready solutions. These developments are not beneficial for the Indian agricultural economy, but also offer enormous international growth potential.
Building the employment bridge
Traditionally, agriculture has employed a major portion of the Indian workforce. However, over the years, agriculture’s share in rural employment has decreased whereas the IT sector has emerged as one of the biggest employers in India.
With the advent of the agtech sector, we have the opportunity to bridge this gap by providing employment opportunities for India’s thriving tech talent to be at the forefront of the ongoing agricultural revolution.
In the post-harvest space, tech interventions can solve issues pertaining to quality evaluation, supply chain lags, and real-time operational visibility by deploying digital tools. These technologies have the potential to cement trust, transparency and data-enabled decision-making for a more robust food trade ecosystem.
With technology transforming the agricultural ecosystem in the country, the rise of agtech is a promising tale of how the three ‘I’s — innovation, insight, and intelligence — can come together and transform lives.
The writer is , Founder and CEO, AgNext Technologies