From sustainable practices to Artificial Intelligence: India’s agriculture future ready

New Delhi [India], April 18 (ANI): One of India’s core strengths is its strong agriculture sector, which has made the country self-sufficient for its food security needs. India currently possesses the capability of producing sufficient food for 18 per cent of the world’s population by using just 12 per cent of the world’s land resources and a mere 4 per cent of the global water resources.

India’s farmers have been well utilising the country’s 20 agri-climatic regions, 15 major climates and all 46 types of soils found in India, the piece of land that we, 1.4 billion people, call home. Advancements, investments, and government support have empowered India’s Kissan and its farming sector.
This year, the budgetary allocations of over USD 15 billion for 2023-24 to the agriculture and allied sector, included nine thousand crores, allocated specifically for farmer education.

Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Agriculture Minister said, “Even from an agricultural perspective several major announcements have been made. This time more than one lakh fifteen thousand crores (14 billion approx.) is the budget of the Agriculture Ministry and nine thousand crores (1.1 billion approx.) for Agriculture education have been allocated. Overall one lakh twenty-five thousand crore rupees (USD 15 billion) have been allocated for agriculture which is certainly appreciable”.

Because of such governmental efforts, the agriculture sector emerged victorious, growing at 3.6 per cent in 2020-21 and 3.9 per cent in 2021-22, despite Covid-induced shockwaves. The agriculture sector, which currently employs 56.4 per cent of India’s population, is on track for exponential growth in the country’s eight agriculture clusters; Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Assam. (Source- IBEF)

Over time, multiple governmental efforts in the agriculture field have made India the world leader in the production of spices, pulses, milk, tea, cashew, and jute, and the second largest producer of wheat, rice, fruits and vegetables, sugarcane, cotton, and oilseeds. It is also predicted that India’s agricultural industry will grow to 24 billion USD by 2025. (Source IBEF)

Not limiting efforts to focused investments, the need to modernise and revolutionise India’s agricultural sector has also been addressed by the government. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech said “Digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as open source, open standard and the interoperable public good. This will enable inclusive farmer-centred solutions. An agriculture accelerator fund will be set up to encourage Agri- startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. We will launch an Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program to boost the availability of disease-free quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops”.

Outside the halls of Parliament, India’s private sector also has increased its support for the development of the agricultural industry in India.

In September of 2021, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare signed five MoUs with CISCO, Nestle, Ninjacart, Jio Platforms Limited, ITC Limited and NCDEX e-markets Limited. These MoUs will have five pilot projects, to help farmers maximize crop yield to establish India’s agricultural might on a global level. (Source IBEF)

India’s conducive environment for startups has also reached the fields and farms of India. No longer remaining limited to business hubs, agricultural startups are being established all over India by the capable youth of our country.

Saurabh Agarwal CEO, of GROWiT India an agri-startup based in Surat, explained the potential of the Agriculture sector to ANI and said “The potential of the sector is almost fifty thousand crores (6.08 billion) of business in this particular sector. Today the industry is only about a thousand crores (121 million). It’s a huge potential in the industry, many people can come into the industry, and the more people that come in more knowledge farmers will have. It will be better for the industry to have some competition and some good young companies coming in and promoting this technology further”.

Amit Sinha the Co-Founder of Unnati Agri and agri-startup based in New Delhi said that “A lot of scope of building up India first solutions exists in the Indian agricultural field, and that is where a lot of startups including us have been working together and trying to solve the problems of agriculture through the latest in technology and financial services that we could bring to the table”.

Several modernizations have resulted in the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) into the agricultural sector and the establishment of government and private platforms for supporting and creating a conducive ecosystem for the sale of agricultural produce.

India is no longer a land of uneducated farmers. The revolution of the agricultural sector has resulted in several well-established and educated young entrepreneurs turning to farmlands, initiating more than 1300 Agri startups.

Ezhil Subbian the CEO, of String Bio an agri-startup from Bangalore said that “We have a lot of MSC graduates working for us who come from a farming background. So their parents used to be traditional farmers now they have been trained agronomers who are keen to bring advanced farm management practices to their own farms. I think it’s a very positive trend and I would hope to see more of this in coming years”.

Agricultural-based startups have aimed to ensure that scientific and cutting-edge technology reaches and utilizes the entire capable soil of India, east to west, north to south.

While women have long been integral to the agricultural industry in India, female entrepreneurs have entered the rapidly revolutionizing market, providing it with a rather different approach and a different perspective.

Rapid modernisation, targeted investments, government support, and the entrance of talented youth into India’s agricultural sector will have a compounding effect and will ensure a bright future for yet another facet of Brand India. (ANI)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here