Growing at more than 7 per cent, Agriculture sector is the soul of world’s economy by contributing 17 per cent to the GDP. I wondered why tech savy entrepreneurs of the country didn’t tap this sector? And while I was researching for this article, I found that there are numerous startups already working towards the upliftment of the sector and have formulated some innovative ideas to help Indian farmers grow and earn well.
Here is a list of a few innovative startups pertaining to the agriculture sector.
Connecting companies, distributors, retailers, and farmers
This agriculture-specific online discovery platform was founded in 2016 with the focus to benefit consumers, merchants and the economy as a whole. TheAgrihub provides authentic product information about brands in conventional and hi-tech agriculture. The company stimulates the development of an open, collaborative and prosperous agriculture eCommerce ecosystem and to empower information for Indian farmers and agribusiness professionals. The platform connects, companies, distributor’s retailers to cater to the needs of farmers in India.
“Our objective is to bring agricultural products sourcing for B2B & B2C at fingertips, help them track innovations or products and also find suppliers next door to facilitate an educated purchase decisions. If you are in the field of Agriculture, you ought to be on TheAgrihub platform. Need anything? Discover it on TheAgrihub! Is what we as a team wish to promote,” said Rajeeb Kumar Roy, Founder and CEO, TheAgrihub. He is an industry veteran who is responsible for introducing latest technologies in past 22 years in high tech agriculture field.
A ‘Direct-to-farmer’ m-commerce platform
With the increase in smartphone penetration in remote parts of the world, the days not far away when farmers can easily access their farm equipments or the raw materials on their mobile phone. Having this in mind these young entrepreneurs have come up with an innovative startup, called AgroStar where they are transforming agri-business for farmers. They have built a “direct to farmer” m-commerce platform through which farmers can procure agri-inputs needed for their farms by simply giving a missed call on their platform and eventually accessing their mobile app
Headquartered out of Pune, AgroStar is currently operates in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Evolution from Kiosk to mobile Platform for rural India
Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO), together with telecom giant Bharti Airtel and Star Global Resources Ltd. has promoted IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited as a joint venture. IFFCOKisan is a mobile app that focuses on providing information and solutions, not just on agriculture but also on other needs of a farmer like health, education, dairy, fishery etc.
Going digital to improve rural livelihoods
Rikin Gandhi, founder of Digital Green has developed a project to educate farmers in the form of simple videos starring local farmers themselves.
“My passion for sustainable agriculture and use of technology for socio-economic development prompted me to stay in India as part of Microsoft Research team. What encouraged me was the potential for knowledge sharing among small-scale farmers and its impact in terms of increased productivity and well-being of the community. While working with the Microsoft, I learnt that video approach is more influential and cost-effective as an information dissemination and advocacy tool among rural communities than the traditional extension system which is limited, in terms of reach and relevance of content,” said Rikin Gandhi, Founder, Digital Green.
Even though corporate and startups are working on farm to market products, the introduction of agriculture market platform by the government will make the entire ecosystem of trade very effective.