Agriculture World

Post-COVID-19 Recovery by Agritech Start-Ups for the Welfare of Farmers

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

India is mainly an agrarian economy, with more than 50% of its population earning their livelihood from it. However, the coronavirus lockdown has hit the farming community and affected their livelihood adversely. Since they are facing the problem of technology and everything is becoming more and more digitising. 

Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, Omnivore, India's leading agritech VC said, "Agritech startups in India have experienced tailwinds during COVID, as traditional agriculture supply chains have been disrupted due to lockdowns. Farmers have shifted to next-generation agritech platforms to purchase inputs, sell their crops, access advisory services, and finance their operations. We believe that post-COVID, this shift towards digital platforms will continue to be accelerated, supported by the recent reforms (Farm Bills) passed by the Centre." 

The new bill specifically, the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill gives farmers the choice to supply directly to corporates, provided they maintain the required quality standards and consistency and this particular bill is being seen by agritech and food supply chain startups as a gateway to increase market penetration and revamp their models. 

Many companies who are Agri based like post-harvest agri-tech startup Arya Collateral which has launched A2ZGodaam, a one-stop comprehensive digital platform for search, discovery and fulfilment of warehousing for farmers, FPOs, Corporates and other stakeholders like traders and small aggregators.  

These startups are creating channels that allow farmers to choose their market and sell their produce at better prices. These agritech startups are bringing innovation to keep the sector functional with the integration of new-age technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and remote sensing, startups are offering immediate solutions in streamlining the supply process, and helping the farmers to produce more efficiently. 

Most of the people have started opting their career in the field of agriculture. This agricultural career will also help in attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal2 of SDG is about Zero hunger which states “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture” (SDG2) recognizes the interlinkages among supporting sustainable agriculture, empowering small farmers, ending rural poverty, promoting gender equality, ensuring healthy lifestyles tackling climate change & other issues addressed within the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  

We must not forget the works to empower our agriculture by our India’s former Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri who gave the slogan Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan. This has helped to avoid famine and in 1968, the birth of Green Revolution was announced by Mrs. Indira Gandhi by issuing a special stamp titled the wheat revolution which has empowered the agriculture society. Even we must not forget the contribution of India’s former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh who was the Champion of India's Peasants who fought and stood for farmer issues and rights and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is talking about Atma Nirbhar Bharat as to make India more self-reliant rather than dependent on others. 

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