How Agritech Initiatives Brought Digital Transformation
DataQuest|March 2021
Businesses across India, both large and small, have taken several measures to address issues faced by farmers and transform their approach to agriculture
Nikhil Das

Recently, the United Nations stated that rising population, increased wealth creation, and urbanisation are perceived threats to global food security. This means that the agriculture sector will have to undergo a shift in approach just like in the past when steps such as mechanised farming and green revolution brought significant productivity improvements.

The agriculture sector must be able to recognise these emerging challenges and should have in place transformational perspectives for solving them. The accelerated and evolving growth of technology is offering new possibilities to agriculture in improving both productivity and farmer’s income.

There is a new tribe of Indian entrepreneurs, who are keen on leveraging this opportunity offered by technology in solving age-old problems in agriculture. These agritech companies come with a long-term commitment to address concerns and issues faced by the farmer and seek to seamlessly transform a traditional farmer’s approach to agriculture. They believe, with the incorporation of new technologies, that Indian farmers will be able to match their global counterparts.

This article attempts to understand the initiatives taken by existing digital technology companies that have brought transformation in agriculture.

COMPANIES TRANSFORMING AGRICULTURE

In this article, we are focusing on specific technologies that have brought significant shifts in agriculture. Here, we are citing specific companies and their initiatives that have made transformational changes to agriculture and the life of the farmer in general.

e-Choupal by ITC: This company, which was largely known for manufacturing tobacco products, surprised everyone with its foray into FMCG, especially food products. To accentuate its supply chain, ITC created a comprehensive digital knowledge hub for farmers with 6,100+ installations of internet kiosks covering 35,000 villages to serve over 40 lakh farmers. Since its inception in 2000, the initiative has not only benefitted the farmers doing business through the network but also compelled public-sector-managed food grain corporations to upgrade their existing systems.

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