This article is part of Inc42’s Startup Watchlist annual series where we list the top startups to watch for 2018 from industries like Agritech, Logistics, Blockchain etc. Explore all the stories from ‘Startup Watchlist’ series here.
“Farming is a profession of hope.” And India holds the record for the second-largest agricultural land in the world, with around 60% rural Indian households making their living from agriculture.
This not only speaks about millions of hopes associated with agriculture but also points out to the huge scope for agritech startups in the country to make those hopes of Indian farmers come true.
Likewise, the central and state governments are proactively pursuing policies to improve farmers’ lives in India. In fact, PM Modi’s government has an aim to double the average farmer’s income by 2022. No wonder, agritech became the new buzz word in the Indian startup ecosystem in 2017 and a hot topic for discussion in most of the startup conferences and events in India.
As per Inc42 Datalabs, the size of agriculture and allied activities in the country underwent a near100% growth between FY14 and FY15. Agricultural exports increased from $24.7 Bn in 2011-12 to $32.08 Bn in 2015-16; a CAGR of more than 6.75%.
But a drop in landholdings (average 1.4 hectares), small and fragmented land holdings, a decreasing agricultural land versus a growing population, decreasing groundwater levels, poor quality of seeds, and lack of mechanisation are some of the challenges for the growth of agriculture in India.