From Fields to Algorithms, How Agtech Will Become the Future of Indian Agriculture

New seeds are sown across India. Farmers who once looked to the sky, picked up handfuls of dirt and applied traditional wisdom to get the most out of their crops are now switching to new tools. They harness the power of robots, drones, ground sensors, smart cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) in a variety of technology solutions.

This is the biggest revolution in Indian agriculture since the Green Revolution and it is just the beginning. With a farmer-centered approach, the agritech revolution – the use of new technologies in agriculture to maximize their potential – promises to radically change the path from farm to fork. It covers the entire agricultural value chain, improves productivity, increases efficiency, creates sustainable agricultural solutions, creates a range of post-harvest opportunities and significantly increases income. Indian farmers used to only dream about it.

Sense of urgency

India is one of the largest food producers in the world and has the second largest cultivated area. Agriculture is the main source of income for more than 55% of the total working population and for 70% of rural families. This sector contributes only 18.3% to India’s GDP.

Traditionally, agriculture in India has been a low-tech sector that has faced numerous challenges. For decades, Indian farmers have faced rising input costs, falling yields, huge post-harvest losses, inadequate market access and the crippling influence of middlemen on prices. Add to these challenges India’s unique small-scale farms (over 80% of farmers are small and marginalized) and now a range of new threats such as climate change, pandemics and supply chain disruptions, and the scenario seems pretty dismal.

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