Growth of AgriTech Startups In India: Government Initiatives, Leading Agritech Startups and More

Rishita Jain Rishita Jain
Feb 16, 2022 6 min read
Growth of AgriTech Startups In India: Government Initiatives, Leading Agritech Startups and More

Since the Indus Valley Civilisation, agriculture has been the lifeline of India. We have 70% of Indian households still dependent on farming, contributing 17–18% to the country's GDP, according to the latest report.

Agritech startups have great potential in India. There is a huge scope of Agritech startups for India's farmers who are striving against unreliable climate changes, water scarcity, price hikes, and many other problems.

What Are Agritech Startups?
Why is there a Need For Agritech Startups in India?
Initiatives by Indian Government For Agritech Startups
Growth of Agriech Startups in India
Which States are Focusing on Agritech Startups in India?
Leading Agritech Startups in India

What Are Agritech Startups?

Agritech is the concept of applying modern technologies to the agricultural sector with a view of enhancing and producing with efficiency and generating sufficient revenue to support livelihoods.

The concept extends to any kind of applications, practices, products, and services that enhance any aspect, whether input or output, of the agricultural process.

Why is there a Need For Agritech Startups in India?

Today's farmer faces a lot of challenges to sustain their livelihood through farming. Malpractices in the unorganized agricultural markets and the absence of organized marketing systems for production are becoming a major concern for Indian farmers.

Moreover, they have to deal with poor transportation and storage services and much more. They have limited access to superior technology to get timely information and agricultural solutions which leaves them vulnerable and all by themselves.

Agritech startups have the potential to address these challenges from the very beginning, and subsequently change the face of Indian agriculture. They are the knights in shining armour for Indian farmers.

Initiatives by Indian Government For Agritech Startups

The Government of India has been dynamically making policies to improve farmers’ lives in India. In fact, the government has promised its citizens to double the incomes of farmers by the end of 2022.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the government will support new entrepreneurs in driving value addition to farmers’ produce from the field.

The NITI Aayog is collaborating with companies like IBM to pilot technology-driven solutions for the agriculture sector in order to provide real-time advice to the farmers. As a result, artificial intelligence is being used to develop crop-yield protection models.


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Growth of Agriech Startups in India

The Agritech sector is a fast-growing sector with great potential to benefit Indian agriculture and eventually raise farmers' incomes. Currently, India has 450 Agritech startups and is reported to grow by 25% every year by NASSCOM.

A wave of Agritech startups has emerged in the last few years in India. In India Agritech sector has come a long way with 43 startups in 2013 to more than 1000 startups in 2020, driven by rising in rural internet penetration, a rise in post-harvest and supply chain losses, a growing number of investors interest in the sector, etc.

They are now able to solve agricultural problems such as the use of outdated equipment, supply chain management, lack of proper infrastructure, and farmers unable to access a wider range of markets with ease.

According to the latest report, over 3.23 billion dollars were invested in the agriculture sector worldwide. Of this, 53 Indian Agritech startups raised 313 million dollars. This is a huge breakthrough for Indian startups and these figures will inspire young entrepreneurial minds of our country to seek in the direction of agricultural technology.

Which States are Focusing on Agritech Startups in India?

Although all states are aware of the importance of Agritech startups for agriculture to flourish, some states have actually established startup ecosystem hubs. Karnataka and Maharashtra together account for almost 50 percent of the total Agritech startups opened in the past 5 years in the whole country.

Although Gujarat has a low share in Agritech startups, according to the State Startup Ranking Report 2018 published by The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), it is the best-performing state in the Indian Agritech startup ecosystem hub.

Leading Agritech Startups in India

1) Ecozen Solutions

Ecozen Solutions Logo
Ecozen Solutions Logo

Based in Pune, this Agritech startup was founded in 2010 by Devendra Gupta, Prateek Singhal, and Vivek Pandey. It focuses on developing technology-enabled products to strengthen the farm-to-fork value chain of perishables, with a focus on renewable energy and sustainable development.

Till now, Ecozen has developed two products so far:

  • Ecofrost, is a device that acts as a portable cold room that maintains a low temperature. It works on solar power.
  • Ecotron, a pump controller for irrigation that also works on solar power.

According to the company, approximately 20,000 farmers in India have used their products. But the owners don't want to stop there. They are planning to enter new areas for irrigation sales and launch a new set of cold-chain products.

2) FreshVnF

FreshVnF Logo
FreshVnF Logo

FreshVnF is founded by entrepreneurs Atul Kumar, Vikas Dosala, Sumit Rai, and Aashish Krishnatre in 2018. It is a Mumbai based Agritech startup that uses machine learning (ML) to optimize a farm-to-fork supply chain by connecting farmers with hotels, restaurants, and cafes.

FrenshVnf is a prospering company, having recently raised 2 million dollars in a funding round led by Equanimity Ventures. It has delivered around 15 tonnes of fresh produce per day to more than 300 clients. The company now aims to provide fresh farm produce to the end customer within 16 hours of harvesting.

3) FIB-SOL Life Technologies

FIB-SOL Life Technologies Logo
FIB-SOL Life Technologies Logo

FIB-SOL Life Technologies is an agritech startup that was founded in 2013 by a team of post-doctoral and doctoral scholars of IIT Madras. The company's technology is focused on developing low-cost bio-fertilizers that help farmers to improve crop yield and soil quality.

The company offers three products for its customers under GEL and DROPS which provide microbial nutrients to enrich the fertility of farmlands. They are priced at Rs 420 and Rs 100, respectively.

FIB-SOL also aims to improve product shelf life for manufacturers, help suppliers stock inventory efficiently, and eventually boost farmers’ income. In May last year, the startup received Rs 1.5 crore in angel investment from Keiretsu Forum in Chennai.


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Conclusion

Agritech startups are the need of the nation right now. More and more entrepreneurs are setting up companies in this field, grabbing the opportunity to transform the sector. The government policies are also giving thrust to these startups so that they can easily find investors. The farmers can finally look forward to better price realization now and embrace this new initiative.

FAQs

What is agriTech?

AgriTech is the concept of applying modern technologies to the agricultural sector with a view of enhancing and producing with efficiency and generating sufficient revenue to support livelihoods.

How many agritech startups are there in India?

There are nearly 600 to 700 agritech startups in India.

Are there any listed agritech companies in India?

Bayer CropScience, Godrej Agrovert, and PI Industries are some of the listed agritech companies in India.

Why is agritech important in India?

AgriTech promises to help farmers increase crop yields, improve animal health, reduce waste, lower carbon footprints, and improve scalability by easing the burden of labour-intensive tasks.

What do agritech companies do?

AgriTech companies work on products, services or applications derived from agriculture that improve various processes. Technology and data can open new opportunities and help solve problems with production, traceability, and the preservation of natural resources.

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