Being one of the oldest industries in the world, farming industry demands creativity and innovation not only for a better productivity but also for a healthier future. Globally, agriculture industry is a USD 5 trillion industry and to cash in on the growing industry many agri-tech startups have come up to leverage modern technologies including data digitization and data platforms, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT) and many more to yield healthier crops. These technologies are also helping farmers to understand weather conditions and other data required for better yields.
India is among the top six countries where agri-tech startups are changing the face of Indian agriculture. If reports to be believed, in the year 2016 startups had contributed around 9% in the global investments with the net value of 313 USD.
According to the statistics by the Agriculture Ministry in January 2020, the wheat acreage took the total Rabi sowing area beyond 64 million hectares. The ministry stated that the total sowing area in the Rabi season reached 641 lakh hectares.
The export of agricultural products constitutes 10% of the total exports from our country. The agricultural exports from our country reached USD 28.09 billion during the period from April 2017- January 2018 with the export of Basmati rice.
Let’s see how the agri-tech start-ups are transforming the way agriculture is traditionally being done:
Sustainability is the main focus
Advancements in agriculture technology have made the farming process sustainable. Farmers are now opting for vertical farming, hydroponic farming, smart farming and modern greenhouse practices. By introducing all these farming techniques, the produce is much healthy, nutritious, fresh and longer shelf life. It also encourages farmers to produce crops that have minimum or no use of harmful chemicals and fertilizers.
Going down well with consumer preferences
Consumer preferences are changing with the changing times. People have become health conscious and moreover, the pandemic has made people rethink about what they are eating. At Farmers Family we give a lot of focus to post-harvesting techniques before the Fruits & Veggies, Groceries reaches to the consumers. We have been using bubble and jet-wash techniques so that large quantity of pesticide residues from the produce can be removed. This is followed by UltraViolet Clearance for reducing microbial loads of pathogens on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Dry roller machines are also used so that the dust particles can be removed from veggies and fruits and can be used for peeling purposes also if we spray some water into the roller machines. In this way, 60-70 percent of pesticides can be removed and other harmful substances on the outer surface of fruit or veggie in the post-harvest process will also be treated.
Scope of agritech startups
The future of AgriTech industries are bright specially in our country, which has one of the most cultivated lands and our economy is also dependent on it. With major population in rural area involved in agriculture practice, through agri-tech startups we can produce an enormous amount of agricultural produce if cultivated and managed properly. Moreover, our climate and diverse geographical landscapes are conducive for a high scope of agriculture.
With a surge in start-ups emerging in the Agri Tech space a sun awaits to help farmers increase productivity and efficiency by using digitalization. With this lies a great possibility of the change in the agriculture economy.
Also, it can decrease the wastage of water and food products due to in adequate storage systems.
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