Agri Stimulus Newsletter – August 2020

Featured Articles

Remote Sensing, a promising Agtech tool

Recently, Government announced that there will be liberal geo-spatial data policy for providing remote-sensing data to tech-entrepreneur.This will provide a huge boost to the rapidly growing sector of remote sensing.

Digital Transformation and smart farming empowering agriculture:
Increasing productivity using lesser resources through smart farming and digital transformation is the need of the hour. Systems like cloud computing, big data platforms, IoT, predictive analytics will enable transformation of products and services and optimize operations. Microsoft is offering start-ups build these industry specific solutions through their vast industry experience.
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Covid disruption unable to hamper Indian farm agricultural exports:
March – June have observed around 23% increase in the farm agricultural exports despite the disruptions caused by Covid. Agricultural exports in 2018-19, as a part of India’s agricultural GDP, have increased to 9.9% compared to previous year’s 9.4% and imports have declined to 4.9% from 5.9% indicating decreasing dependency on import and export surplus.
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Centre releases Rs.553 Cr to states to promote farm mechanization:
Centre releases Rs 553 crore from a budget of Rs 1,033 crore to state governments under the scheme, Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) which was launched in 2014 to promote mechanization in the agriculture sector. Agricultural mechanization helps in increasing production through timely farm operations and cut in operations by ensuring better management of inputs.
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Private sector lender ICICI Bank to use satellite data to assess credit worthiness of farmers:
ICICI Bank will be the first bank in the country to use satellite technology to help farmers to get better access to credit. The bank will be using imagery sent by Earth observation satellites to measure an array of parameters related to the irrigation and crop patterns. It has already conducted a pilot study in 500 villages and would scale up to 63000 villages soon.
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Unfold: New joint initiative by Bayer and Temasek to unlock potentials of Vertical farming:
Unlike other vertical farming start-ups, Unfold will be focusing on unlocking the genetic potential of vertical farming by developing new seed varieties using vegetable seed germplasm for unique indoor vertical farm environment. These efforts will enable high productivity, enhanced flavor and incorporate customer preferences.
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Kashmir on the global map for its saffron:
Kashmir saffron has been awarded the GI tag. This will prevent adulteration and fetch the Kashmir saffron a good price. This saffron is the only saffron grown at 1600m altitude and has a distinct bitter taste, deep red color and long stigma.
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OPDPA aims to encourage oil palm production in the North-East:
Oil Palm Developers and Processors Association (OPDPA) welcoming the Union Government’s vision on the need of being self –reliant in edible oil according to according to the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme has asked the government to bring in structural and policy changes to promote the domestic potential of oil palm through changes in pricing mechanism among others.
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Government launches an online platform to monitor its Agri Infrastructure Fund:
The government launched an online Management Information System (MIS) platform to manage and monitor its Agri Infrastructure Fund (AIF). An integrated monitoring system will be developed at district, state and national level to monitor the implementation of projects. Effective real time monitoring will be carried out by geotagging of all assets created under the scheme.
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Industry Speaks

Technology in Agriculture– The Path Less Taken?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis; lack of sound measures may further lead to the global food security crisis and form a vicious cycle. Therefore, it is imperative to minimize the adverse effect and disruption of livelihood of the poor and marginalized citizens. Agriculture has taken the centre stage and technology is seen to be the next growth driver of the same. Capital Investments and focus has risen around the AgTech Industry from both the Private and Government sectors.

Research & development in seed business plays a critical role in ensuring the product pipeline for business sustainability. Conventional breeding is augmented with molecular breeding to accelerate line and hybrid development. It has been offering significant genetics gains to USAgriseeds® highly adaptable products across wide geographies in India & Abroad. SeedWorks continues to experiment the use of Artificial Intelligence in precision phenotyping to deliver best seed solutions. One of the examples is use of AI for physical purity assessment of paddy grains, segmenting them into true hybrid seeds, other differentiated varieties, and impurities.

The seed production is digitally enabled to capture vast amount of agronomy with environmental data. SeedWorks is continuously working on utilizing the data with the power of data science to increase efficacy of the process, forecasting of the seed supply and incremental monetary gains to the thousands of farmers involved. Over the years, seed producing farmers has seen significant improvement in their farm incomes and enhanced livelihoods.

The vast knowledge gathered in two decades of association with Indian farming community has positioned USAgriseeds® as a strong brand in the minds of millions of farmers. The technology driven assessment of consumer needs, segmentation the markets and product positioning are the key to success of the fast growing USAgriseeds® brand.

The frontline staff is well equipped with the appropriate tools to conduct product promotional activities along with physical presence to deliver superlative customer experience. The utilization of digital applications for data capturing, visualization, and reporting in the multilocation product trails for the product advancement assessments. Digital Marketing has become an integral part and is being used via social networking platforms like Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and other advertising enablers like Zapr and InMobi. Rural changes such as increased mobile/ internet penetration, cheaper data & storage and increased technology awareness are leading to mainstream VC/PE funds expressing interest in Agri sector and high-quality tech-entrepreneurs starting up, therefore making AgTech attractive. SeedWorks is also tirelessly working with several AgTech start-ups, Government bodies, FPOs and Academia to develop a digital ecosystem to take the Indian Farmer to the next level. The pursuit of doubling farmers’ income has been the top agenda of the organization and it believes that technology will bring the next Green Revolution in India.

In this journey, SeedWorks strongly believes to strengthen these AgTech start-ups by providing a pilot ground to test their solutions and a launch pad to take the best solutions to millions of its loyal farmers. To enable the same, SeedWorks organized a day-long Think-aThon in joint efforts with FICCI, which saw participation from 11 start-ups and many opportunities to collaborate were identified. SeedWorks dreams to bring scale to AgTech solutions, primarily leveraging Artificial Intelligence-enabled Internet of Things across the value chain. Surely, all these efforts will make goal of doubling the farm income by 2022 a reality. The evolved Agri ecosystem will propel India towards its goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Sathguru Sevices
Sathguru offers a whole spectrum of services for the Agri-input companie
Case Studies & Blogs

Technology Scouting & Licensing from global sources for accelerating portfolio expansion

Consolidating the company’s IP assets in a holding company ensures it is ring-fenced and protected

Technical due diligence of target seed company for acquisition by agrochemical major

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