The term agritech is a combination of ‘agriculture’, and ‘technology’. It refers to the utilization of technological innovations to augment the output and efficiency of agriculture.
It uses the application of robots, devices, artificial intelligence, and even big data to improve the farming process.
Agritech companies emphasize reducing manual labor, increasing the harvest, and reducing the resources required for the cultivation of crops.
Agritech is not only restricted to the agriculture industry and is also applicable to the horticulture and aquaculture industries.
Agritech is a growing industry because of the following reasons:
- It provides effective solutions. Many new technological advances are met with reservations because they may not be economically possible. But, this is not the case with the agritech industry.
Agriculture consists of many challenges that can be easily resolved by technology. The Agritech industry provides farmers with healthier seeds with a higher viability rate, better types of equipment to ease out the cultivation process, and safer fertilizers, which have a low contamination rate.
Furthermore, the sector emphasizes improving the storage capabilities and helps to expand businesses by connecting the farmers with customers from different regions of the world.
This facilitates the farmers to allow them to meet international orders without the need for a middleman.
Secondly, the products of the agritech industry come at reasonable prices. In the past, technology was available, but they were expensive and provided a burden to the farmers. But, this is not the case now.
As long as one has basic knowledge of agritech, one can start growing crops using a greenhouse equipped with features like automation and an internal ecosystem without the need for too much capital.
The third crucial advantage is the farmers are backed by government support. Growing food efficiently is a global challenge, and the government is realizing its consequence by the end of the day.
Apart from the U.S, many countries like Asia and Europe are realizing the challenges and are offering grants to agritech companies because of the potential contributions to growing safe and environment-friendly products.
Agritech sector has the maximum potential as compared to any other sector. Many investors and experts recognize the potential in agritech.
If one ever decides to start a business in agritech, there is a massive prospect with abundant skilled workers and organizations to lend an extending help.
The need of Agritech companies in India:
Reports show that nearly three-quarters of India’s families depend on rural incomes. India’s food security is completely dependent on producing cereal crops, thus increasing the production of fruits, vegetables, and milk to meet the demands of a growing population with rising incomes.
India is a global agriculture powerhouse. It is the world’s largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices. Apart from that, it has the world’s largest cattle herd and the largest area under the production of cotton, rice, and wheat.
In addition, it is the second largest producer of wheat, rice, sugarcane, farmed fish, meat, and tea. But, agriculture’s share in the Indian economy has progressively declined to less than 15 percent. It could be validated by the high growth rates in the industrial sector.
Enhancing agricultural productivity, competitiveness, and rural growth. Promoting new technologies that reform the overall agricultural systems is one of the most important needs of agricultural growth.
The agritech companies serve the purpose.
The Indian agricultural sector is currently valued at USD 370 billion, which contributes to 20 percent of the national GDP. Agricultural products exported amounted to 284000 crores in the fiscal year 2019 to 20.
The tech awareness among the farmers is on the rise, which is driven by high internet penetration and mobile connectivity. Internet connectivity is one of the sole reasons driving the agritech sectors. The government has played a significant role in sector development by creating incubators, awarding grants, and focussing on public-private partnerships.
India started with 43 agritech startups in 2013 and has boasted more than 1000 such sectors, and some are on the verge of becoming unicorns.
According to a research report, the favorable impact of such initiatives is expected to increase the market valuation to 30 to 35 billion USD by 2025.
The tech market involved in supplying farm inputs is expected to earn a revenue of 1 billion USD. Accurate agriculture and farm management technique can yield a turnover of 3.4 billion USD.
Reports speculate that the agritech sector is expected to grow into a 30 to 35 billion USD market by 2025. India occupies the third spot in agritech funding after the US and China.
Some agriculturists have stated that India is expected to receive funding worth 1 billion USD this fiscal year.
Top 10 Best Agritech Companies in India in 2022:
1. Sfarms India:
Sfarms India is a marketplace engaged exclusively engaged in buying and selling agricultural land in India. The company was established for farmers and nonfarmers to discover, buy and sell agricultural lands, small farms, and estate lands.
Customer satisfaction and winning their trust is the prime objective of the company. At Sfarms India, the staff focuses on transforming wasteland into rich, valuable land for the farmers that can be used to cultivate crops.
It, in turn, benefits the farmers as they receive better prices compared to the price they are offered for the selling of barren lands.
The company has a workforce of 10 employees and has received funding of 50 thousand USD according to the 2018 data during the pre-seed round.
The integral features of Sfarms India include:
- It connects the buyers and sellers with no middlemen involved.
It, in turn, results in the nullification of the margins, thus maintaining cost-effective Agri land purchases.
- The company offers full stack agricultural land services for pre and post-agricultural land registration.
- The services are provided for the buyers and farmers such as land survey, and RSR/Revenue document verification.
- Sfarms India has collaborated with licensed surveyors, document writers, legal experts, and international farm management solution companies to ensure a quality user experience.
Over the years, the Indian farm industry has evolved from steam engines to electric tractors or the so-called “green tractors”. The Indian tractor industry is one of the main contributors to agricultural output.
With the help of modern tractors and types of equipment, farmers can increase their productivity by saving time and energy.
KhetiGaadi is a knowledge-based advisory platform for the farming community to employ the right mechanization technology.
It is an e-commerce platform enabling the farmer community to rent, sell, buy or hire tractors or other farm equipment online with Finance and insurance support.
The company deals with agricultural tools and equipment, farm mechanization implements, and plant nutrition products.
The main objective of KhetiGaadi include
- Educating the farmers with adequate knowledge of mechanization allows the farmers to employ the right kind.
- It empowers the farmers with additional income and decision-making.
- It provides a wide range of mechanical instruments to choose from at the ease of a single platform segregated into categories and at an affordable price.
- They have partnered with 25 plus well-established brands.
The company has taken the initiative to do something meaningful and bring a fundamental change in the lives of farmers and consumers.
Crofarm is a tech-driven agritech startup that aims to reduce agricultural waste by optimizing supply chain networks.
It is a farm-to-business venture with over thousands of farmers associated with their market.
The company receives funds from main industries, including Omidyar Network India, Factor[e]ntures, pravega ventures, and many others.
The company was founded by Ashish Chand and receives funding of 3.8 million USD.
The company provides diverse types of services. They guide the farmers on produce specifications that help to yield more value in the market. The pricing pattern is transparent, and they ensure that the farmers earn more than the prices they are offered in a mandi.
They have a tech-enabled system allowing the farmers to receive the complete value of their products on time and digitally.
The crucial features of the agritech company include:
- Crofarm benchmarked its prices across several wholesale markets to derive the right price.
- They provide doorstep deliveries and the orders can be placed at the convenience of the customer’s home.
- The products sold by the company are claimed to be super fresh as they deliver from the source to the client within 12 hours.
Farm2fam provides organic food products directly from the farmers to the consumers. It ensures that the customers consume produce that is free from any contaminants such as fertilizers and pesticides.
It is a Mumbai-based startup that was founded in January 2019. The main objective of the agritech startup is to create awareness about the capacity of the human body to heal itself with natural nutrition. The company was founded by Keya Salot.
Farm2Fam utilizes the technology with the combination of Indian agricultural methods to grow niche nutritional products.
What makes the company unique is the fact that it deals with the selling of microgreens. Live microgreens are the perfect balance of taste and nutrition and provide 40 times more nutrition than the consumption of vegetables.
Some of the integral features of the company are:
- The business is dependent on urban farming and agriculture.
- They use a certified organic soil-less potting mixture that is formulated for the early stages of plant growth.
- They deal with non-GMO, non-pesticide, herbicide, and chemical seeds delivered to the customer’s doorstep live and fresh.
The company has a strength of 10 employees and receives funding from the parent company Vijay Transtech Pvt Ltd.
5. Aarav Unmanned Systems:
Aarav Unmanned Systems is a start-up that originated from IIT Kanpur in 2013. Currently, the company’s headquarters is situated in Bengaluru.
The company manufactures survey-grade drones and provides durable drone-based end-to-end integrated management solutions. They have a specialization in the sector of urban planning, industrial areas, Smart cities, micro irrigation, watershed, mining, power, and infrastructure.
AUS’s operations are ten times faster and generate millions of times richer data. It helps to create insightful analytics so the businesses can initiate well-informed decisions followed by cost savings and increased revenue.
The drone services offered by the company is remarkable and is one of the commercial drone space in India.
AUS has mapped more than 55 Lac Acres of area for the different projects, including 200 plus mines, 35 plus cities, and 25000 villages.
They provide the service of irrigation that helps in capacity planning. Their well-developed drone services help to estimate the exact storage capacity of drains/ dams/ canals/ reservoirs. Strategic planning ensures the way farmlands can be benefited immensely from proper irrigation planning.
The company is backed by many investors, including GrowX, 500 Startups, 3one4Capital, and Mr. Sanjay Jesrani, and has received a total funding of 748.5 K USD over two rounds.
6. Bombay Hemp Company:
Bombay Hemp Company known as BOHECO is a privately held social enterprise in Mumbai. The company was introduced to research and promote the manufacture of industrial hemp, the super crop of our era in India.
The company was established in 2013 and founded by Yash P Kotak. Currently, it has an annual turnover of 50 lakh to 1 crore INR.
It is India’s largest B2B market and was founded to create a vertically integrated company that produces hemp to make textiles, building materials, Ayurvedic remedies, and health, and wellness products.
The company aims to achieve a growth of 2.5 times as compared to the current size by the end of the fiscal year 2022. The idea was to boost commercial cultivation from a medical viewpoint.
Currently, BOHECO sells its products through its e-commerce website and channel partners. Reports show that the company has visualized a 30 percent repeat customer base.
Around 30 companies are associated with the hemp and cannabis space in India. There is much room for growth in this sector as the industrial size of hemp measures between 500 million USD and 750 million USD.
Agricx was founded in 2016 for the agriculture ecosystem to advance and remove the challenges built into the current processes. The company aims to use new-age technology to cross out the inefficiencies. It specializes in machine learning, agritech, deep learning, certification, and SaaS.
The company connects cold storage owners with bulk buyers of agricultural products. The start-up uses computer vision and machine learning to assess the quality of produce.
In addition, it provides warehouses for rent to its client bases.
AgricxLab provides an AI-enabled SaaS stack for businesses and entities responsible for the production, storage, and transport of agricultural commodities.
It received a total funding of 775k USD and has a workforce of 17 employees.
Aibono deals with farming-related intelligence and gadgets for farmers to increase their yields. The company identifies itself as a Farm Management Service company.
The company allows the farmers to outsource the entire production team management, farm measurement, and other decision-making services.
The start-up has worked in close association with 140 farmers in the Tamil Nadu region.
The firm has managed to improve the yields by up to 50 percent as the day passes. The team comprises data scientists and agronomists that utilize the farming data to provide recommendations to farmers.
The company has proved to be an exciting startup that introduces precision farming to the masses. The farmers can enhance the yield drastically with a few additional infrastructure costs.
Fasal is a startup that was founded in 2018 with four team members. The company has successfully helped the farmers in minimizing the costs of cultivation and assisting in the improvement of the quality and yield through their AI-powered platform for horticulture.
The company has received 1.8 million USD within three years, and the key investors are Animoca Brands, Artesian VC, Mind Fund, Mistletoe, and Mount Parker Ventures.
They promote the concept of sustainable agriculture, and their solution impacts the social, economic, and environmental spheres hence, making a great impact on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Their services are classified under the following heads:
- Microclimatic forecast: They provide far-level weather forecasts with high accuracy.
- Diseases and pest prediction
- Irrigation alerts
- Manage farms by monitoring the farms by providing real-time insights into the daily progress of the crops.
Cropin integrates farming with enterprise resource planning and business intelligence.
The services are provided via a mobile application allowing the farmers and farm owners to perform data-driven farming.
The company utilizes big data analytics and artificial intelligence to monitor the firms. Apart from that, it utilizes geo-tagging and satellite imagery for land monitoring.
The objectives of the company are discussed under the following heads:
- Promoting food security as the low yield is estimated to decrease by -35 percent by 2100.
- The solutions help to monitor, analyze and improve biodiversity.
- They provide financial support to small land owners.
- Enables zero-carbon farming to prevent global warming.
Indian agritech companies have a long way to go in the agriculture industry. The unorganized and fragmented nature of Indian agriculture followed by the challenges such as lack of agriculture, and supply chain efficiency holds back the agritech sector from realizing its full potential.