22 May 2020

The India agriculture industry and potential for Agritech startups


Agriculture is a very important source of income for more almost 60 % of India’s population, but is at the same time run quite poorly compared with western standard as 86% of the farmers are very small/marginal in production size.  This leads to a large potential for value addition, which would be a huge contribution to the global and local food production, as India is one of the largest producers globally.  However, the agriculture sector in India is expected to generate better momentum in the next few years due to increased investments in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, warehousing, and cold storage. Furthermore, the growing use of genetically modified crops will likely improve the yield for Indian farmers. This leads to expectations that India will be self-sufficient in the coming few years. Based on the latest data India is already the second-largest fruit producer in the world, and the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices and spice products.


Historically there have been large problems related to drought in the agriculture industry in India, the latest in 2019, and the Government of India launched the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) last year. It was an investment of 50 000 million Rupi (US$ 7.7 billion) aimed at the development of irrigation sources for providing a permanent solution from drought.  In addition there is an increased focus on digitalization of the agriculture industry were US $ 306.29 million is going to be invested in computerization of the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) to ensure cooperatives are benefitted through digital technology.


To increase the focus on Agriculture, and especially Agritech, there has been running an annual Agritech exhibition in Bangalore for years, and the 12th version was/is planned from 18th -20th of august this year. To be noted, there is also organized exhibitions like GrainTech India 2020 and DairyTech India 2020 in Bangalore, so the opportunities of combining tech with agriculture are huge. The Indian Government has also launched a new AGRI-UDAAN program, to mentor Agritech start-ups and to enable them to connect with potential investors.


The Agritech-startup industry is growing at a rate of 25% annually and there are now more than 450 startups that want to impact the food economy of India. The sector has received more than 250 million USD with a focus on combining agriculture with GIS, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, remote sensing, data analytics, and various Internet of Thing (IoT) devices. Opportunities for the Agritech-startups are huge and the need for food globally is only increasing. When also considering the green revolution of the world in a combination of the climate change issues, taking your Agritech startup/scaleup to India could be the next step of creating something big. Nordic Hub India is ready when you are!