“Agriculture is not cropped production as popular belief holds – it’s the production of food and fibre from the world’s land and waters. Without agriculture, it is not possible to have a city, stock market, banks, university, church or army. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization and any stable economy,” opines Allan Savory, venerated ecologist, livestock farmer and environmentalist. The future of agriculture, to a large extent, depends on the various technology startups that work to bolster growth across the farm to fork life cycle.
This especially holds true for India, where more than 58% of the rural population depends on agriculture and allied activities for sustenance. According to an IBEF report, in FY17, agriculture likely accounted for over $1,640 Bn (INR 1.11 Tn) of the country’s GDP. Agritech startups alone raised nearly $313 Mn funding in India during 2016.
To help fledgling startups navigate through the myriad challenges plaguing the farm to fork life cycle, Inc42, in collaboration with Mistletoe, is inviting applicants for a one-of-a-kind “Farm To Fork” event to be held in Bengaluru on September 13, 2017.
As part of the event, ten shortlisted startups working across the farm to fork lifecycle will be offered the opportunity to pitch themselves before an audience of 100 – including investors, policy makers, entrepreneurs and industry stalwarts in this space.
What Is Farm To Fork And What Will It Entail?
Despite increased investment opportunities, startups operating in different areas of the food cycle right from farmers to suppliers to distributors, till the food finally reaches the end consumer, currently have to meander their way through a multitude of challenges in order to gain traction in India. Lack of awareness about the use of tech and the burgeoning potential it provides, especially among farmers, is a major obstacle hindering the industry’s growth.
We, at Inc42, firmly believe in the power of discourse when it comes to spreading awareness. To that end, we hosted an AgriTech Investors Roundtable on May 25, 2017, in Delhi. The panel discussions – which were held by Ritu Verma, co-founder and MD at Ankur Capital; Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner at Bharat Innovations Fund; and Vikram Gupta of IvyCap Ventures – focussed on the challenges, emerging technologies and opportunities in the country’s agricultural sector.