Budget 2022: Agri-tech players welcome push for digitisation

Budget 2022: Agri-tech players welcome push for digitisation

Agrarian ecosystem is hampered by lack of transparency, say experts

Agri-tech companies and startups have expressed happiness over the push towards digitisation in agriculture and have said that it will go a long way to promote further investments in the field and will boost the overall rural economy in the country. Many feel that the measures announced during the Union Budget 2022 is a good platform which will empower agriculture ecosystem players to seamlessly bring in access to good quality produce at scale, enable price negotiation with complete transparency and manage end-to-end logistics with quality control.

“Digitisation is the core essence of the overall budget related to the agricultural and rural sector. The budget is revolutionary right from the promotion of chemical free natural farming, encouraging the production of oilseed along with PPP initiatives to providing tech-enabled solutions for the farming community. The government intends to include the agro-tech industry in PPP which is a big welcoming step and would set the tone for further much needed initiatives for the farming community. Further, the launch of the digibank, financial literacy and skilling and livelihood will help boost the overall economy of rural India,” said Taranbir Singh, co-founder and CEO of Faarms.

Experts said that the smallholder farmers, who account for more than 80 per cent of India’s agrarian economy, are often at the mercy of severe opacity and are perpetually dependent on intermediaries. Be it in sourcing quality farming products, realising optimum value for their harvest or using formal credit channels for payments, farmers are facing challenges at every step and digitisation can mitigate all these challenges.

“The agrarian ecosystem players are hampered by lack of transparent access with actionable information. Digitisation solves this challenge by integrating a virtuous loop between farmers and markets, giving better access to information. The measures during the Union Budget 2022, is a great opportunity for the agriculture sector players to take forward years of work in bringing about a positive change in the livelihood of marginalised farmers,” said Palat Vijayaraghavan, founder and CEO, LEAF.

The measures announced during the Union Budget 2022 is a good platform which will empower agriculture ecosystem players to seamlessly bring in access to good quality produce at scale, enable price negotiation with complete transparency and manage end-to-end logistics with quality control.

“What is required to be effectively implemented is to digitise the produce buying process enabled by a rural relevant, secure feature phone driven and internet agnostic technology,” added Vijayaraghavan.

A few experts feel that technology enablement was the need of the hour and the budget just brought in that aspect that will help in the overall agri-tech ecosystem. “This tech enablement as an integral part of governance will be a boost for all new age tech companies and would further enhance the environment of new age digital and technology companies. Drones have now become an integral part of the implementation of schemes be it in agri-tech, in defence and other areas. Creation of NABARD Agritech Fund for “Kisan Drones” shows the government’s recognition of a new view on how to upgrade farming,” said Bhaskar Majumdar, managing partner, Unicorn India Ventures.

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