Agritech startups use AI and IoT to make farming boom during COVID-19 crisis in India

The conventional supply network got disturbed because of novel coronavirus lockdowns. Agritech startups are serving farmers to get connected with buyers, automate supply chains and automate the next layer of data analytics to get productivity by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT).

On the basis of Nasscom 2019, report India has more than 450 agritech startups growing at a fast pace. Agritech startups such as Clover and Bijak have raised funding during COVID-19 calamity.

“Covid-19 and the lockdown have hit the core logistics and supply chain in agriculture in ways which was not measured in traditional distribution setups, and they were technologically insufficient to overcome this situation. Many agritech companies came up with innovative ways to help farmers and save their crop and harvest from complete loss and in this, they also gained farmers’ confidence” said Ananda Verma, co-founder, Fasal.

Fasal assists farmers with the help of its AI-powered IoT-SaaS platform that catches real-time data on the growing state from on-farm sensors and delivers farm-specific, crop-specific applicable knowledge to the farmers with the help of the mobile in their vernacular languages.

QZense company, which is based in Bengaluru, is using IoT to develop solutions for the fast and exact ranking of fresh food, by getting in-depth data on ripeness, spoilage and shelf life.

Gurugram based Bijak is serving rural commodity traders and buyers transformation to digital trade. The greenhouse agritech platform Clover is helping greenhouse farmers avoid financial instability at the time of delivering fresh vegetables to grocery shops.

“With the onset of covid, an already fraught fresh-produce supply chain saw huge volatility, with farmers losing market access resulting in significant dump of the produce. On the other hand, consumers faced limited choice with concerns on origin of produce, handling of the produce till it reaches their doorstep.

The robust fresh-produce supply chain of Clover was able to channel a lot of these farmers into its network for serving the end consumer demand in a traceable, hygienic manner. We’ve done this across Bangalore and Hyderabad,” said Avinash BR, co-founder, Clover.

“Indian agriculture is an over $350B industry powered by close to 100 million small and independent farmers. This industry is on the brink of a massive transformation with ease of regulation, farmers getting organized and increasing smart phone penetration and DeHaat is leveraging these trends to build the next-gen product in the agricultural supply chain”, said Abhishek Mohan, vice-president at Sequoia Capital India.

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