16th Dec, 2020
- India has the 10th largest arable land resources in the world and with 20 agro-climatic regions, all 15 major climates in the world exist in India. The country also possesses of the 60 soil types in theworld. Over 58 percent of therural households depend onagriculture as their principalmeans of livelihood.
- The Indian food and grocery market is the world's sixth-largest, with retail contributing 70 percent of the sales. The Indian food processing industry is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export, and expected growth. Additionally, there has been a FDI inflow of $2.16 bn in the agriculture services.
- India is also the largest producer of spices, pulses, milk, tea, cashew, and jute and the second-largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane, cotton and oilseed. India is currently the world's fourth largest producer of agrochemicals. Government of India has allowed 100 percent FDI through automatic route in agriculture, animal husbandry, and plantation sector.
Transformation of Agriculture
- Modern techniques and methods will surely elevate agriculture to the next level and ease the burden on farmers.
- This creates a huge scope for Agriculture Start-ups in the country.
- Transformation of Agriculture to Agri-business is one of the important strategies where enterprising farmers practice profitable agriculture. Every 9thAgritechstartup in the world is from India.
- Additionally, across agriculture use cases such as farm automation, weather forecasting, drone use, online vegetable marketing, smart agriculture, etc. innovations and technology-driven powerful start-ups set to revolutionise the agriculture sector.
Opportunity for Agro Entrepreneurship
- Additionally post-harvest loss in India amounts to INR 95,706 crore. Demand-driven cold chains, warehouse monitoring solutions and market linkage can resolve the existing bottlenecks resulting in streamlining of processes with significant increase in farmers income
- While agriculture is fragmented activity in India with most of the regions depending on rainfall for water, penetration of advanced technology enables information dissemination that can assist in adequate irrigation as well as conservation of water.
- Indian farmlands are fragmented and small; 70 percent are less than 1 hectare, resulting in significantly low farm yields. Solutions to increase productivity with respect to the farm size is the need of the hour
- Agriculture sector employs 50 percent of India's workforce but contributes only 18 percent of the GDP. Solutions that enable farm automation and aggregation will rationalise and gainfully redistribute the workforce.
- The organised sector of food processing has only 60 percent share. Formalising the unorganised sector can improve the farmers' income and exports.
- Digitisation shall bring more transparency into transactions and create more sales channels for farmers.
Startup India Recognition
- Startup India, housed under Invest India, is a flagship initiative of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), intends to build a strong ecosystem that is conducive for the growth of startup businesses.
- Start-ups that meet the definition as are eligible to apply for recognition certificate under Startup India, DPIIT .The number of start-ups recognised in the agriculture sector has witnessed a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of approximately 74 percent from 2017 to 2019.
- Apart from recognising start-ups, there have been various challenges and programs which have been launched by Startup India to support the agriculture start-ups such as Agriculture Grand Challenge and National Startup Awards.
Agriculture Grand Challenge
- Startup India engages with various Government bodies to conduct grand challenges to promote entrepreneurship and enhance collaboration among the ecosystem enablers and builders.
- The grand challenges channelise the Government to work with start-ups and build partnerships on the front of executing National endeavours
National Startup Awards 2020 - Agriculture
- Startup India launched National Startup Awards 2020 in December 2019 with an aim to recognise and reward outstanding start-ups and ecosystem enablers that are building innovative products or solutions and scalable enterprises, with high potential of employment generation, wealth creation and demonstrating measurable social impact
Central Schemes: RKVY RAFTAAR
- Ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme (State Plans) -RashtriyaKrishiVikasYojana (RKVY) as RashtriyaKrishiVikasYojana Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) for three years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a aim at making farming a remunerative economic activity through strengthening the farmer's effort, risk mitigation, and promoting agri-business entrepreneurship.
- The component of Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development under the scheme promotes innovation and agripreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem via supporting the start-ups in various categories such as agro-processing, artificial intelligence, and others
- Another component is Agripreneurship Orientation programme
- The innovative solutions and technologies created by the start-ups are creating manifold impact in the society bodies. The agriculture start-ups should continue to work effectively towards the mission of self-reliance and self-sustainability like they have been in the past. The vision of AatmaNirbhar Bharat is rooted deeply in the Start-up Ecosystem and shall continue to prevail in the coming years.