According to industry estimates, agricultural technology start-ups in the country will receive a record $1 billion this fiscal year, bringing total investment to $2.5 billion since 2012.
Hemendra Mathur, head of FICCI’s Task Force on Agro Start-ups and venture partner at Bharat Innovation Fund, said at a conference on agri Start-ups that the opportunity in the sector is enormous and that ‘total investment would hit $2.5 billion by the end of current fiscal 2022.’
According to him, Indian AgriTech is entering its third phase, which will be driven by increased farmer adoption of new-age innovations and major consolidation.
India is in third place
According to a PwC research released on the occasion, global investment in AgriTech start-ups was $91.5 billion till Q1 2021 (since 2012), with the last two years (2019-2020) accounting for 51% of investments. According to the research, India is third after the United States and China in terms of AgriTech funding, with $45 million invested since 2011.
In 2020, the overall value of annual investment fell by 35% to $409 million, down from $635 million in 2019. According to the research, 45 AgriTechs raised funding in 2020, compared to 58 enterprises in 2019. It also stated that $10 billion in investments are projected over the following decade.
‘The emerging technologies and agri innovations are to be mainstreamed and used in the fields,’ said Trilochan Mohapatra, Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), speaking at the occasion. He also stated that there must be efficiency, climate resilience, and high productivity with quality and that the country requires an increasing number of stakeholders to be a part of it.
Encouragement from the government
Noting that the government-supported e-NAM (electronic National Agriculture Market) has prompted the private sector to develop a number of electronic market platforms, According to Neelkamal Darbari, Managing Director of Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), additional 1,000 mandis will be integrated under the portal after the first 1,000 have been joined. She also stated that the government intends to develop ‘a platform of platforms’ to connect all of the portals accessible in the country for all farming-related operations.
‘This would also generate more synergy for the farmers to cut operational costs and increase product pricing,’ Darbari said.
TR Kesavan, Group President of TAFE, Vivek Chandra, CEO (global branded business) of LT Foods, and Amit Mundawala, co-founder of Star Agribazaar Technology were also in attendance.