India now has a ₹1 lakh crore fund to boost farm products storage⁠— and startups are invited too

Advertisement
India now has a ₹1 lakh crore fund to boost farm products storage⁠— and startups are invited too
Representational imageUnsplash
  • The fund will be allocated to strengthen farm-gate infrastructure like cold chains, storage centres and aggregation points.
  • Primary agriculture cooperative societies, farmers produce organisations, and agricultural entrepreneurs and startups can avail support from this fund.
  • India is home to over 535 agritech startups that use technology to enable India’s farmers and agriculture.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her third tranche of investments from the ₹20 lakh crore package announced a ₹1 lakh crore fund for Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate & aggregation points.

The ₹1 lakh crore fund will be for primary agriculture cooperative societies, farmers produce organizations, agricultural entrepreneurs and startups. The fund will be created immediately.

The Finance Minister said that the lack of adequate cold chain and post harvest management infrastructure in the vicinity of farm-gate is causing gaps in India’s value chain.

Advertisement
Agriculture is the most important contributing industry to the Indian economy and is the main source of livelihood for about 58% of India's population. However, a problem that has persisted has been the lack of technologically sound advancements in the field. Farmers have had issues in various fields – dealing with the middlemen menace, storage of crops, surveillance etc. And here’s where agritech startups come in.

Unlike developed countries where farmers get up to 70% of value, Indian farmers in perishable value chains get less than 30% of the retail price.

Over the years, India has seen a growth in the number of agritech startups, which has also led to VCs and accelerator programs turning their focus to the sector. This has resulted in agritech startups coming under the spotlight for investments and more.

Advertisement

India is home to over 535 agritech startups that use technology to enable India’s farmers and agriculture. In 2019, India saw 152 deals in the agritech space.

"The ₹1 lakh crore fund for farmgate infrastructure will not only help in reducing wastage of produce but will also make it feasible for farmers to sell directly at point of consumption by preserving the freshness of produce. Enabling farmers or FPO to become micro food enterprises and supporting them will give more money in the hands of farmers as they can add more value to their produce," said Atul Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder, VnF Ideas Private Limited, the owner of brand Fraazo. Fraazo is a Mumbai-based consumer agritech startup that ensures farm to doorstep delivery of vegetables and fruits within 18 hrs through their hyperlocal model of dark stores.

Other agritech startups too welcomed the move. " It can provide the much-needed succour to primary producers in situations such as this, where markets are disrupted and prices are on a downward spiral. The ability to hold and process the produce prior to sale can give the much-needed income delta to farmers," said Prasanna Rao, MD Arya Collateral Warehousing Services.

Advertisement
See Also:
These are the top takeaways from Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's third installment from Modi's ₹20 lakh crore stimulus


{{}}