Stakeholders believe that repealing farm laws will have no effect on the emerging agri-tech start-up ecosystem, which is on track to attract a billion-dollar investment this year.
The agri-tech start-ups that are catalyzing the Indian farming sector by pushing the adoption of newer technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence and improving market linkages to farmers have attracted the interest of overseas investors, who are funding more money into the Agri ecosystem.
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No negative consequence
‘Honestly, the farm laws were never implemented, and most agri-tech start-ups existed long before they were ever proposed, so I see very little impact,’ said Marh Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore, a venture capital firm that has invested in Indian agri-tech for over a decade. ‘I don’t think investors expected these immediately frozen reforms, so I’m not concerned,’ Kahn added.
According to Hemendra Mathur, an investor, the repeal of the farm laws will have no effect on Indian agri-tech, which will continue to grow and add value to farmers.
‘Agri-tech began in India before farm laws were enacted, and there are already demonstrations of unit economics in areas such as market linkages, farm-to-fork, and direct-to-farm, crop advisory is now well established. I don’t believe it would have any negative consequences. If the farm laws had been implemented, it would have most likely facilitated faster growth,’ Mathur says.
Quality of entrepreneur
Given that agri-tech has only reached 10-15% of Indian farmers, there is plenty of room for expansion, according to Mathur. So far this year, investments in the sector have been roughly ₹700 crores and may reach the billion-dollar mark by the end of the year, according to Mathur, who added that the quality of the entrepreneurs was the main reason for attracting such investments.
Hope for bridging Farmers and Government
According to Amith Agarwal, Co-founder, and CEO of AgriBazaar, the PM’s announcement will help bridge the gap between farmers and the government. ‘I am confident that both will come together to discuss the challenges confronting Indian agriculture in a win-win situation,’ he said.
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Sateesh Nukala, CEO of BigHaat, a contract farming, and stockholding company, sees no impact. Regrettably, it is disappointing to see such progressive farm laws repealed as a result of political pressure, he said.