AgTIVE 2019 (Ag-Tech Innovations for Viable Enterprise) was launched at The Global Dialogue on Digital Pathways in Agriculture at New Delhi today. The Summit is a flagship event under CII Ag Tech program.
CII as part of its overall agenda on agriculture has prioritized technology led agricultural transformation and it is in context that the Advanced Technology Program was conceptualized towards facilitating creation of a conducive ecosystem for accelerating uptake of advanced technology.
Speaking at the Global Dialogue on Digital Pathways in Agriculture Shri Parshottam Rupala, Hon’ble Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Panchayati Raj, Govt. of India mentioned that “while advanced technology solutions are available the need for ensuring it’s uptake at farmer level is critical and this will happen only when the solutions create value for farmers”. He also stressed on the need for real time data collection and management for the growth of agriculture in India.
Dr Ashok Dalwai, CEO, NRRA, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of remarked that from farmer income perspective technology should focus on improving rate of return on investment in agriculture; ensuring transparent price discovery and better price realization by farmers and developing a robust non-farm sector from farmer income perspective. He highlighted that “Towards these ends the basic requirement is creation of a robust decentralized data stack with interoperability to change the environment & ecosystem of agriculture in India”.
Speaking at the session, Mr Salil Singhal, Chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture and Chairman Emeritus, P I Industries Ltd complimented the Government of India’s efforts towards creating the right ecosystem and mentioned that “the ag-tech sector in India is growing at a rate of 25%, year on year and the start-up ecosystem is playing a critical role here, bringing innovation and disruption in much-needed areas”. He also highlighted the need to stitch together the various ongoing tech initiatives towards a holistic effort to improve efficiencies in Indian agriculture.
Speaking about AgTIVE 2019, Mr Singhal mentioned that “AgTIVE 2019 is an attempt to understand, analyze, and draw insights from and for the rapidly evolving agri-technology innovation ecosystem in the country”. Innovators have been captured in the report under four broad heads of Data Analytics; Post-Harvest Technologies; Mechanization and Automation and Value Chain Management. The learnings drawn from the journey of these ventures, forms an integral component of this study.
Speaking about the CII Ag Tech Program, Mr B Thiagarajan, Co-Chairman, CII National Council on Agriculture and Managing Director, Blue Star Limited spoke about Network of Agri StartUps, Venture Financiers and Incubators (NAVI) platform that is supporting ventures by matching them with Incubators and Accelerators, helping asset Portfolio for Investors and providing arena for multi-stakeholder interactions. At present 60+ start-ups are registered on the platform. He also mentioned about another key component of the program AgHack – Agri-Virtual Grand Challenge Hackathon 2019 which provided an ecosystem to students where in 280 Participants from 29 Universities participated.
An important area of deliberation during the summit was around assessing existing partnership between Innovators, Industry, Academia and Government and scope of scaling these. It was identified that farmer centric models creating enhanced value for farmers are finding greater traction from various partners.
Another key area of discussion was Future of Investment in AgTech. It was discussed that increased formalization and digitization in agriculture is creating an interest towards agri venture investments. Farmer platform and Fintech are picking up very fast while post-harvest management & farm gate interventions are still nascent but offer huge opportunity for scaling. Existing gaps in investments were mainly seen in life sciences and agri biotech.
Other sessions during the day focussed on the future trajectories of key technologies and how they will have a wider impact across the sector catalysing the uptake of innovation and bringing a transformative change.
The Global Dialogue on Digital Pathways in Agriculture also saw an Innovators Pitch – AgLive 2019. The session provides innovative startups a platform to pitch their technology and win recognition by CII and opportunity for mentorship and scaling. The past winners of CII AgLive have successfully secured funding and scaled over the years.
The event saw participation from Government, Innovators, Technology solution Providers, Venture Capitalists and other stakeholders of the Agri Innovation ecosystem.
5 December 2019