1. Agriculture World

Very less Post-harvest IoT solutions available in the market: Nasscom

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Internet of Things

As India seeks to increase its use of technology in agriculture, a recent study found that adoption of tech solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its early stages, with just 2% of cultivators in India using mobile apps for farm-related activities and real-time alerts.

It was also discovered that nearly 90% of existing start-ups and tech-based businesses have solutions that are solely focused on pre-harvest activities, rather than post-harvest, which has a higher investment opportunity due to the involvement of large corporations.

Uncertain Return on Investments (RoI) is a major stumbling block for adoption of tech solutions like IoT in post-harvest operations, according to a study conducted by industry body Nasscom in collaboration with Cisco India among more than 180 enterprises and 40 agritech start-ups.

According to the study, IoT adoption across the agriculture value chain is marginal, ranging between 27 and 37 percent, and is further hindered by uncertain benefits and a longer time to scale. “The lack of IoT benefits in the pre-harvest stages is due to low farmer incomes and large-scale tenant farming; however, in the post-harvest stages, with more structured companies and higher investment capacity, an uncertain Return on Investment (RoI) is a stumbling block,” according to the paper.

The study also discovered that Indian agriculture's current state of IoT implementation is very nascent and disparate, both in terms of available solutions and initiatives taken.

“Given the state of Indian agriculture, I believe that there aren't enough people willing to make that kind of deeper commitment to be able to invest in pre-harvest technological solutions, and given the low return on investment in post-harvest technological solutions in farming, we believe that it is here that government and industry should come together to provide a kind of 'uberization' of tech solutions like IoT”, Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer, Nasscom told.

In the pre-harvest phase of agriculture, knowledge and use of IoT solutions was founded on simple sensors, RFID devices, and IoT devices, while in the post-harvest phase, sensors and RFID devices, heavily used in manufacturing activities, packaging, storage and logistics, are the most commonly used technologies.

In particular, the Nasscom report stated that resistance to the employees is among the principal reasons for a low adopt of cutting-edge technology, as well as for high solution costs, limited evidence of technology solutions for cost reduction in agriculture and a lack of readiness for change as the main reasons for low adoption.

The Nasscom-Cisco report has recommended that tech businesses develop local presence through agricultural clusters through access to governments, industry, local non-governmental organisations and farmers' companies (FPCs). "We find that technology responses are mixed in farmers' groups with others more adaptable to new options but technology costs and their effects are still a major issue," said Gupta.

She said the results of the study would soon be communicated for further action to the central and state governments. The report also indicated that work should be done to create farm corridors along industrial corridors with creation of PPP modes and equity between farmers.

She said the results of the study would soon be communicated for further action to the central and state governments. The report also indicated that work should be done to create farm corridors along industrial corridors with creation of PPP modes and equity between farmers.   

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