New Delhi: By 2020, the number of start-ups in India is projected to increase to over 11,500, with job creation reaching 2.5-3 lakh. This was one of the highlights of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (FICCI)-PwC Knowledge Report on Agri-Start-ups: Innovations for boosting the Future of Agriculture in India, which was launched by Suresh Prabhu, minister of commerce and industry, Government of India, at the International Conference and Awards for Innovations by Agri Start-ups organised by FICCI in New Delhi recently.
India houses a total of 366 agri based start-ups, of which over 50 per cent came into existence in 2015 and 2016. The combined revenue of all agritech start-ups in India is estimated to be less than $100 million whereas global market is worth $350 billion. Geographically, Karnataka and Maharashtra together account for almost 50 per cent of the total number of agri start-ups opened in the last five years.
New models such as Framework as a Service (FAAS), can lead to more sustainable profitability. The need for government to help set-up agritech-focussed incubators and grants. To make agri-startups successful, it is crucial to enable seamless hybridisation of relevant technology by building a new-age distribution model.
The report noted that agri-start-ups needed to customise suitably for wading into markets that have a scant technology adoption rate (due to limited budgets and inconvenience with its usage) and re-orient their methods of selling, which essentially will be different from urban India and start-ups operating there.
Prabhu said that innovations and new ideas will be essential to overcome the challenges arising in the agriculture sector globally. He added that to promote new innovations and ideas, start-up companies in agriculture sector should be encouraged.
“We have to produce more but there is a threat to existing products, and this is going to be an extremely important issue. Agri innovation is the most important innovation the world would need in the field of agriculture at various levels and in different forms,” he emphasised.
The minister stated that start-ups could use technology and bring innovations in areas such as making land and soil more fertile, producing agriculture from waste water, minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides and better productivity.
Alexandre Ziegler, France’s ambassador to India, highlighted the strong relationship between the two nations, especially in the agriculture sector. He said that France had already started using high-end technology, like drones, artificial intelligence, big data, etc., to ensure increase the productivity and invited Indian companies to invest in France.
T R Kesavan, chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee, and president and chief operating officer, TAFE Ltd, said that areas such as farm to the farm head; farm at storages and storage to markets were crucial areas where agri start-ups could use innovations. It was imperative for start-ups to adopt sustainable business models to help the farm sector.
Pravesh Sharma, advisor, FICCI Agriculture Division, and chief executive officer, Kamatan Farm Tech Pvt Ltd, stressed the need for creating an ecosystem for the sustainability of start-ups and emphasised the need for using disruptive technologies in the agriculture sector.
Prabhu also presented the Business Excellence Awards for Innovations by Agri Start-ups. The categories and the winners in each category are listed as follows:
|Innovation in the Field of Agriculture||Sickle Innovations Pvt Ltd
Miklens Bio Pvt Ltd
Swasti Agro and Bioproducts Pvt Ltd
|Impactful Agri Start-up||Gramshree Development Services Pvt Ltd|
|Inspirational Agri Start-up||Y-Cook India Pvt Ltd|