Problems faced by Agri Start-ups in India – II

11 Mar, 2019 / MVS Mani

Though technology has bridged the gap in the agri start-up chain, there are still a lot of issues being faced by different companies in this sector. As they are working to solve issues in farming, it is important to find ways to overcome these concerns.   

Natural climate changes

One of the main problems faced by agri startups is the climatic changes. Here there is little or no intervention that is possible. Unlike other startups where climate may or may not play a role in success, in agriculture, it is the primary factor.

Lack of cold storage

21 million metric tonnes of wheat decays annually in India due to lack of storage. 25 to 30 per cent of vegetables and fruits are wasted due to lack of refrigerated storage in India. There is a need to mobilise large-scale investment into storage. Without improvements, agri start-ups will find it difficult.

Productivity information

The productivity level in India is low when it comes to agriculture. At the same time, the exact information on productivity is also not available to all. This makes it difficult for startups to plan and create a model and it has to mainly be done on the job.

Right support and subsidy reaching the farmers

There are a lot of schemes and subsidies that are being launched for the welfare of the farmers, however there is a lack of support when it comes to them reaping the benefits. The uneducated farmers are neither aware nor know how to make the most of it. This will in turn affect the agri start-ups in implementations.

Large farmers controlling all the information

The agri sector in India remains largely unorganised and fragmented. Farmers owning less than 5 acres constitute 80 percent of the entire farming community. However, only the bigger land holders have access to most of the information. This creates an issue for the smaller farmers. A lot of the schemes do not reach them.

Timely warning mechanism

When it comes to issues like weather, market fluctuations etc. there is a lack of timely warning mechanism for farmers. This brings agri startups also to a halt.

Value added industry in farm products

There is a need to drive knowledge into the agricultural industry so we can add value to the basic product that farms produce in India. This is not present now. Only with this can the middlemen be eliminated and the business thrive.

Packaging and marketing support

When it comes to agri startups, there is a lack of packing and marketing infrastructure and knowledge. In spite of huge investments by government and private sector to regulate and stop inadequacies in the supply chain, India’s smallholder farmers still face numerous problems in their efforts to market their output.

Correct insurance system

The right insurance system in agriculture is vital and one needs to know the exact policy that is ideal. There is a lack of knowledge on the schemes and if one is unaware, it is very easy to pay too much and get no benefits.

Fin-tech involvement for support

When it comes to agri startups there is a lack of fin-tech involvement due to the kind of industry that we are in. Agri-tech and fin-tech needs an amalgamation. This could have an incredible positive impact in the sector. Services like financing innovation, credit facility, saving schemes etc. could be beneficial for agri start-ups.

If you/anyone you know are facing more problems in this sector, do comment/write to me.  

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