Agtech 2022 looks forward to sustainable technology, digital access for farmers & precision agriculture
'In the post-Covid era, we expect to see technology adoption at a grander scale'
Tech has entered almost every sector in Indian industry. Still, is agtech where it should be? The Tech Panda gathered some expert agtech opinions, who say that the focus of agtech in 2022 will be on sustainable technology, digital access for farmers, and precision agriculture.
When compared to sectors like EdTech, Healthtech, and FinTech, the farming sector in India has been left behind in catching up with the technology trends.
However, 2021 has been a watershed year for the agritech sector in India with a significant number of new technologies having made a foray in smallholder farmer markets like India, says Anuj Kumbhat, CEO and Co-founder, Weather Risk Management Services, a smart and sustainable farming platform.
“These technologies have also been able to successfully find capital to scale with a focus on sustainable food production, storage and transportation,” he says.
I feel that sustainable technology would remain a focal point in 2022 for healthier and higher produce to achieve food security and improved nutrition while conserving natural resources and biodiversity for the generations to come
“I feel that sustainable technology would remain a focal point in 2022 for healthier and higher produce to achieve food security and improved nutrition while conserving natural resources and biodiversity for the generations to come. For this, we need to de-risk smallholder agricultural value chains by introducing scalable risk management solutions for a thriving ecosystem, productive economy, and socio-economic upliftment,” he adds.
“With singular digital access to farmers, significant reforms, and exceptional government support, the Agritech sector is empowering rural India by increasing its income levels and market penetration/linkages,” he says.
The industry is expected to grow astronomically in the coming months and years on the back of technology.
“Regulatory changes and the need for tech-enabled solutions in the market will also increase further. The adoption of technology in the agricultural ecosystem has helped solve pain points across the conventional agricultural value chain. Demand-side drivers such as evolving consumer dynamics towards consuming healthier food due to urbanisation, imperative to reduce food wastage in India, environmental factors are helping drive the adoption of agtech in the country,” he says.
Demand-side drivers such as evolving consumer dynamics towards consuming healthier food due to urbanisation, imperative to reduce food wastage in India, environmental factors are helping drive the adoption of agtech in the country
“In the post-Covid era, we expect to see technology adoption at a grander scale alongside rapid scaling of B2B platforms and farmer marketplaces, farm-to-consumer platforms, and precision agriculture,” he predicts.
The Agritech sector has undergone significant transformation in the past few years, especially after the pandemic’s onset. As technology integration continues to grow, traditional ways of agriculture are gradually being improvised with newer, more sustainable and efficient ways of farming, resulting in accelerated funding in the sector and a massive influx of investors’ interest.
For example, recently, Indian agri-platform Ninjacart, which leverages technology to organise the agriculture ecosystem, has implemented an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) buyback worth INR100 crore for its employees. This announcement comes on the heels of Flipkart and Walmart announcing a fresh round of joint strategic investment in Ninjacart worth US$145 million.
October last year saw one of India’s biggest-ever agtech funding rounds with agtech marketplace DeHaat raising US$115 million in Series D funding in a round co-led by Belgium’s Sofina and Indian branch of the UK’s Lightrock.
This kind of investment will further bolster the agtech sector towards building technology and infrastructure to organise, empower, and enhance the lives of millions of agri value chain participants including farmers, resellers, retailers, consumers, and supply chain participants.