Agritech startups have great potential in India: Ashok Gulati

(Ashok Gulati is the chair professor for agriculture at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations. The column first appeared in The Indian Express on November 8, 2021)

 

  • Startups are creating a buzz in India by raising large sums, despite many of them currently making losses. This is because they disrupt the traditional system of doing business and leapfrog to efficiency, winning the trust of potential investors. Agri-startups are no different. Globally, India is competing with the US and China in the agri-startup space. According to Agfunder, India witnessed an increase in funding from $619 million in H1 2020 to $2 billion in H1 2021, behind the US ($9.5 billion) and China ($4.5 billion) [see figure]. An Ernst & Young 2020 study pegs the Indian agritech market potential at $24 billion by 2025, of which only 1 per cent has been captured so far. Among various agritech segments, the supply chain technology and output markets have the highest potential, worth $12.1 billion. Currently, it is estimated that there are about 600 to 700 agritech startups in India operating at different levels of agri-value chains. Many of them use artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), etc, to unlock the potential of big data for greater resource use efficiency, transparency and inclusiveness…

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