As a result of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that followed, the agriculture and agtech sector did face an initial disruption of their supply chain as well as labour shortages during the peak months of the lockdown.
Despite this, agriculture in India seems to be on an upswing according to the latest estimates by the National Statistical Office (NSO), with the sector having added a tremendous amount of private investment between the months of July and August in 2020.
According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) India has 450 Agtech start-ups that are growing at a rate of around 25 per cent annually. Additionally, the agricultural ministry of India has also pledged to fund a further 234 agricultural businesses with a sum of Rs 24.85 crore in the financial year 2021. With numbers looking good, new business owners and entrepreneurs in the Agtech sector can safely assume that a large-scale growth will be seen going forward.
Trends in the Agtech Sector to Watch Out For
The emerging trend going forward seems to be that more Agtech firms and farmers are using real-time information technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) to track and monitor crops, soil quality, supply chain management, weather and yields. These technologies can and are being used to make long-term and short-term decisions regarding current and upcoming crop cycles.
This is a crucial step in the right direction that makes monitoring more cost-effective and more importantly increases the yield by giving firms and farmers all the vital information at a moment’s notice.
A Well-Structured Network
The integration of technology into the agricultural sector also helps connect buyers across the market, it automates much of the supply and logistics processes as well as making for a more transparent engagement, and allows for faster cash settlements and transfers.
More Consumer-Oriented Practices
With the onset of the pandemic, consumers have shifted their sites to a more sustainable, organic and healthy menu of foods. They also look for foods produced with fewer insecticides and pesticides. With the afore-mentioned advancements, farmers can now opt to selectively implement changes to a specific portion of crop as per the demand.
With the growing demand for more exports and advancements in operational technology, Indian Agtech companies will be playing a crucial role in bolstering the rapidly expanding agricultural ecosystem.