Start-ups and established businesses are turning their heads towards the most underdeveloped industry of the country- Agriculture.
Agriculture in India is out-dated and that is what gives it so much potential for the future. There are many controversial issues that farmers have been and are currently facing, supply and right target price. To curb this problem, start-ups are developing mobile applications to give farmers a valuable tool to connect with buyers from all across the country.
Artificial Intelligence is the future of agriculture according to some analysts which may be correct as start-ups are using the future technology to improve farmer’s supply chains that are responsible to waste about one-fourth of India’s produce, a monetary loss for farmers and wasted food that could have fed so many people.
Wastage of Indian grains, vegetables and fruits is happening in volumes between the farmers and the buyers because of ten different middle-men mishandling the products, repeated loading and unloading, lack of storage, poor management of inventory etc. The main issue with this whole process is the slow movement of goods, holding the ear from around the head instead of a direct approach is what is ruining this one-fourth supply. This volume of food wastage during supply is five to six times more than the largest economies of the world.
What is the Indian government doing about this issue?
Well for starters, the Indian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi have introduced a significant change in the agro-culture in the country which is an initiative to remove middle-men and allow farmers to sell their fruits, vegetables and grains directly to the end consumer.
The government has been working in different ways to improve this system, especially in outskirt rural areas. In September, the government took another major step in this regard, that is to allow farmers to sell their produce, not only to wholesale markets but to big retail players such as Walmart and BigBasket as well.
However, several unmatched opinions arose during that time and farmers fought back in the form of national protest as they believed that this deregulation might overshadow government-guaranteed minimum prices for whatever they produce and sell. PM Modi even lost a cabinet minister from Punjab over these concerns.
In this time and age of digitisation, start-ups are helping farmers in this transition and over this issue by providing them with services that give them the best possible prices for their produce and means to sell directly to the customers. This way process of fruits, vegetables and grains stay marginal without price-cuts from several middle-men.
Affordable smartphones and cheap high-speed internet connectivity is helping farmers in this transition of going digital, profiting the enterprises and finally satisfying the end-consumer. Hence, a win-win situation for all!