For Businesses, the Big Opportunity Lies in Agriculture #Budget2018
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India’s Annual Budget for the year 2018-19 announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today is nothing short of a clarion call to revive agriculture in the coming year.
Arun Jaitley, while stating that the Indian economy is the 7th largest in the world at $2.5 trillion, pinned the country’s growth on the development of the agriculture sector.
As the government sets its foot to achieve growth of 8 per cent as projected by Jaitley, much emphasis has been laid on seeking to affect a paradigm shift and improve agriculture.
In an impetus to farmers, Jaitley said “we consider agriculture as an enterprise and want to help farmers to produce more from same land parcel at lesser cost and simultaneously realise higher price for their produce.”
The government has also proposed a 100 per cent tax rebate for farmer producer companies with a turnover of INR 100 crore.
Considering India is slated to be the 5th largest economy globally and has the second-largest agricultural land in the world, agricultural growth is paramount but lack of technology and adequate incentives have made India a laggard in the agriculture space.
This push by the government could be a great opportunity for businesses that are focused on agriculture. Among the top agri-technology sectors that will now become lucrative and some players who are entry entrants include:-
Technology to aid Farmers
CropIn is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps provide farmers a farm management software and mobile app to assist them in decision-making for consistency, dependability and sustainability of their crop.
Aibono is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps farmer get farm-related intelligence, technology, expertise and gadgets thereby increasing yields.
BigHaat is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps farmers buy agricultural needs including seeds and pesticides online.
Making Farmers Self-reliant
Ninjacart is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps retailers buy fruits and vegetables directly from farmers, hence cutting out the middleman.
Crofarm is a Gurgaon-based startup that buys vegetables and fruits directly from farmers and supplies them to retailers.
Cutting Farmers’ Cost
Gramco Infratech Pvt Ltd is an Indore-based startup that aims to integrate farm services and making available infrastructure closer to the growing areas.
Kamal Kisan is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps helping farmers reduce labour costs by 50 percent by developing farm equipment capable of replacing labour-intensive activities.
EM3 Agri Services is an Uttar-Pradesh based startup that offers farm services and machinery on rent to farmers. The services range from land development, seeding, sowing, planting, harvesting and post-harvest field management.
Ravgo is a Punjab-based startup that helps farmers rent agri-equipment via an online marketplace.
Tessol is a Mumbai-based startup that that uses energy storage technology to assist in cold storage and transportation solutions to eliminate the use of fossil fuel for cold chain transport systems.
FarmLink is a Mumbai-based startup that calls itself a 'one-stop-shop' back-end partner for industrial off-takers of fruits & vegetables, focused on modernising and transforming the supply chain across the country.
Intello Labs is a Bengaluru-based startup that uses computer vision deep learning, Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks and Machine Learning (ML) and Price Monitoring, Seller Monitoring, Consumer Behavior, Competitive Landscape to help farmers grow & sell their crop.
vDrone is a Bengaluru-based startups that uses drones and mapping techniques to provide analysis on crop yield.
Triton Foodworks is a Delhi-based startup that enables agriculture in urban land, which includes cultivating fruits and vegetables without the use of soil.
FlyBird Innovations is a Bengaluru-based startup that helps detect moisture content in the soil & hence aids in reducing water usage in cultivation and thereby increasing crop yield.
Jaitley also said the government will support organic farming and proposed to extend Kisan credit card to fisheries & animal husbandry farmers.
The government wants farmers to earn 1.5 times the cost of produce and said the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of all crops shall be increased to at least 1.5 times that of the production cost.
The FM also said he will work with Niti Aayog to develop system of optimal farm price realization.
The government is setting up a Grameen Agriculture Market Fund (GRAM) with a corpus of INR 2,000 crore aimed at providing farmers a means to sell directly to buyers said Jaitley.
With the government's focus on agriculture in its run-up to Election 2019, businesses have a great opportunity ahead in the space.