Government and startup sectors facilitate end-to-end agritech innovation

The State-created India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture, and several startups look to map the sector and provide customised solutions

August 4, 2021

A farmer database has been created on Agristack and will look to improve crop planning and remuneration.

An Agriculture Geo-Hub developed through the PPP model will look to equip farmers with end-to-end intelligence.

Startups such as Ninjacart and IntelloLabs provide farmers with crop cycle, pest prevention, and logistics support.

The NMSA and other projects will give farmers access to soil data, seed and fertilizer quality and weather forecasts.

Digitisation in agriculture has been a priority in recent years with both government and private sector stakeholders rolling out initiatives to aid farmers and the farming process.  The Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare is working towards introducing the India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture (IDEA), an Agristack system that will allow the Government to develop programmes that will empower the sector and increase farmer remuneration at large. A database of farmers has already been created as part of the Agristack, and the next step would be to map out the agricultural landscape and identify the appropriate technologies for interventions. Furthermore, an Agriculture Geo-Hub built on geospatial technology is being developed through a Public-Private Partnership model. 

The agritech startup pool has also introduced promising technologies to enhance productivity within the agricultural sector. The technologies introduced by them can be broadly categorised into predictive analytics, real-time analytics and crop and soil monitoring which will predominantly integrate the sectoral supply chain, better plan crop cycles, and prevent attacks by pests. Startups such as Gram Vyapaar provide customised solutions for farmers in order to help them plan the crop cycle, protect crops from pests, achieve a good harvest and earn better remuneration on the sale of produce. Apps and AI/ML-based platforms like SmartRisk and CropIn also equip farmers with accessible intelligence in connection with crop cycle planning and yield maximization. Intello Labs’ solutions enable quality checks of the produce and Ninjacart looks to bridge gaps in logistics, inventory, purchase pattern analysis and crop marketing. 

The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) is a broad-based initiative that covers the entire agricultural spectrum and will look to infuse sustainable technologies in the value chain. An agritech Mission Mode Project integrated under the National E-governance Plan will look towards providing farmers with intelligence on soil and crop management, weather forecasting, seed and agricultural implements as well as the appropriate government schemes. As the agricultural sector has been a consistently high-performing sector even during the pandemic years, it is imperative that digitisation initiatives help amplify the productivity of the sector and elevate its potential to international standards.