Indian start-ups in the agritech sector received more than $248 million funding in the first six months this year, according to a report unveiled by NASSCOM on Monday.
The report, titled "Agritech in India -Emerging Trends in 2019", said that Indian agritech start-ups have received $248 million funding in H1 2019, registering 300 per cent growth as compared to H1 2018 funding.
According to the report, growing at the rate of 25 per cent year-on-year, India currently hosts more than 450 start-ups in the agritech sector.
"Over recent years, the agritech sector in India has witnessed some of the global and sector-focused funds directly investing in agritech start-ups," the IT industry body said in its report.
"With the recent rise in funding, 48 per cent Agritech CEOs, as per the NASSCOM Agritech CEO survey, believe to have the next agritech unicorn in coming 3 years," it added.
At a time when agriculture sector is passing through distress with high price volatility, climate risks, and indebtedness, the spike in interest in the agritech sector, both from entrepreneurs as well as investors, could help in improving the farm sector.
The report said that every ninth agri-tech startup in the world is originating from India, adding that there has been a 1.7-times increase in average farmer income in last decade, enabling farmers to try new tech solutions.
"Adoption of technology in agriculture has always needed a structured institutional focus and technology firms are trying to break into the agricultural landscape using newer business models," said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom.
"The findings of the report are a testimony to the potential of the agritech industry and the opportunities that India presents in the agriculture and farming landscape," she added.
The report noted that Indian companies are increasingly looking at global markets to expand with a focus on regions like South East Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. According to the report, more than five global agritech companies have ventured in India in the last 5 years, as compared to more than 25 Indian agritech companies with a global presence.
"Corporates and investors are playing a vital role in supporting this with over $200 million investment in B2B start-ups in the past 18 months, making it as a key revenue-generating segment in the overall agritech sector," the report highlighted.
"New emerging areas like market linkage, digital agriculture, better access to inputs, FaaS and financing are attracting large traction. These technology adoptions are enabling numerous agritech start-ups to bring forth farming-related advanced technological mechanisms to help local farming become a sustainable and profit-yielding enterprise," it said.
Realising the vision of "Make in India", for the world, it is estimated that by 2020 the agritech sector to be at the centre-stage of innovation and will lead India's journey towards overall transformation, the report said.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar