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Emerging Agritech Startups and how they are transforming the Agriculture Sector in India

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The penetration of mobile phones and internet into the rural areas is increasing rapidly. Taking advantage of this, a number of agritech startups are solving farmer’s problems – from production to distribution. These startups have successfully embedded technology into agriculture, providing valuable information such as market trends, weather, water and soil, etc.

Another startup that is expected to make a huge impact in the Indian protein supplement segment is Nutrisattva. This startup has been established by BM Vyas, the ex-managing director of Amul, along with nutritionist Dr. Ravi Khimani and Shirish Upadhyay, an ex-senior vice-president of Parag Milk. Nutrisattva is pitching itself as a protein innovation company that will launch natural protein-based supplements. Vyas noted that the company is seeking to capture a small pie of the Indian organized protein market, which is valued at Rs. 1500 crore.

Agritech startups are expected to grow exponentially as more and more farmers are set to use the mobile technology. As the penetration of mobile phones and internet is set to increase, these startups can reach out to more farmers and create a win-win situation and also establish successful long-term relationships and partnerships.

Here are few of the emerging agritech startups in India:

eKutir: The Bhubaneswar-based startup, eKutir seeks to eliminate rural poverty among smallholder farmers. The has a network of micro-entrepreneurs who are trained to use digital information and offer it to rural farmers. The inputs include soil analyses, seed selection and best farming practices. eKutir also offers key market

connections – bridging the gap between the stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
AwaazDe: AwaazDe is a mobile voice service catering to various segments including agriculture, education, health and finance. Its agriculture solution – known as Krishi Mobile sends real time agriculture information to farmers in order to improve output and market access. The agricultural experts share voice messages on various topics including horticulture, crop production, plant protection, etc. These inputs can greatly help farmers in boosting the output and learning new farming skills and fine tuning the existing ones.

Farmily: Farmily is Bengaluru-based startup which sets up microsites for farmers. The farms can display their farm produce on their site. The buyers check the listings. If they are express interest on the platform, an SMS is triggered to the farmers mobile. The farmers can then speak to the consumer and negotiate the deal. This solution eliminates the middlemen and ensures that the deal is quickly sealed. It brings farmers and buyers on a common platform that benefits everyone.

Mandi Trades: This app was created by Edvin Varghese, a Bengaluru –based techie with more than 20 years of experience in various technologies. Initially, the app sent government prices to farmers over the mobile phones. Later the app provided agricultural news, price alerts and more information in various languages including Kannada, Hindi, Telugu and English. Now, the app has grown to be a farmer’s social network which connects the farmers and the buyers.

farMart: Many farmers would like to take up advanced agricultural techniques, however, expensive agricultural machinery becomes a hindrance to do so. farMart is a portal started by Alekh Sanghera, where farmers can rent underutilized farming equipment and machinery to others. It creates a win-win situation where the owners earn income from equipment that is not at full utilization, while farmers can use modern equipment at a reasonable/cheaper price. Farmers can rent the machinery using the app and the payments for the machinery can be made through the government’s United Payments Interface.

The agritech startups will positively benefit famers and rural areas, boosting the production and revenue. Government funding would further encourage these startups, which would eventually benefit many more farmers widely.

What do you think about agritech? Will it redefine our agriculture system?  Do share your thoughts in our comment section below.

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