The agriculture industry in India is a complex trade. It is a puddle of challenges and policy neglect. The agriculture sector employs more than half of the country’s workforce. Farming consumes about 90 percent of our freshwater resources and uses nearly half the available land. Yet, despite all this, it generates barely 13 percent of the GDP.
There are, however, many upsides to it too. Production has consistently outgrown the population, leading India forward in the realm of agriculture. We’re one of the largest producers of grain, milk, fruits, and vegetables in the world.
This has been a result of The Green Revolution in the 1970s. Agriculture was converted into a modern industrial system. High-yielding disease-resistant crops, mega-irrigation projects, and chemical fertilizers were some of the major technological advancements. These led to increased agricultural productivity. Over the years, many innovations have pioneered production in agriculture. 500 agri-tech start-ups have raised ₹5,000-6,000 crore of funding by 2015. Their purpose is to enable greater consumer access, build digital marketplaces for farmers, and introduce branding. More investment needs to penetrate into various areas like agri-biotech. For our future strategy, India must balance greater output and yield with higher nutritional quality and sustainability. We also must move up the value chain to enhance individual farmer and national income.
By 2030, can India proclaim itself as a world-leading agricultural innovator? The Agricultural Collaboratory (TAC) aims to strengthen our systems of agricultural innovation and technology. It plans to create a holistic and well-connected farming platform.
The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has announced to fund 234 more Agri startups. A decided total of Rs 24.85 crore will go to agriculture sector businesses under a central scheme. The government is working on encouraging the cultivation bionetwork under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). It has already funded 112 startups. These start-ups have originated from 29 prestigious agri-business incubation centers across the country. In total, the Ministry has funded 346 new ventures with a sum of Rs 36.71 crore.
The said companies will deliver innovative farming solutions and also devise methods to increase the income of farmers. Activex Animal Health Technologies, also known as Vetzz, is one such start-up that connects pet owners directly with vets. The business provides teleconsultation and doorstep visits. The Ministry is also taking a step for women’s empowerment and independence. It is encouraging agriculture start-ups led by women. A2P Energy Solution is an example of such a venture sponsored by the Ministry, which works with farmers to collect biomass waste tracked by AI.
In conclusion, while Indian agriculture faces complex challenges, we have made many strides in innovation and technology. More investment in research and greater political willingness will ensure that India fulfills its aim of being a global ago-tech leader.