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May 2018
Agri-Tech as a Career Choice
Authored by: Mukesh Iswar

Agriculture is one of the most profitable businesses in the world. Fortunately, India acts as the second largest agriculture land in the world. The demand for healthy food increase day by day. Rise in population every year will cause a serious food shortage problem by 2030. Solving this problem is the need for the hour.

We are aware of the fact that agriculture sector makes a significant contribution to the Indian economy. Nearly 50 % of the Indian rural workforce is employed in Agriculture however there is a steady decline in this number due to various problems. Also, the contribution of agriculture to Indian GDP is reducing YOY. There are several reasons for this trend namely:

  • Urbanization
  • Less profit/no profit/no ROI
  • Wastage due to transportation
  • Rapid climate change
  • Very less shelf life of agriculture produces
  • No proper marketplace
  • Lack of exposure towards government schemes//funds/subsidy
  • Middlemen

On the positive side, some of the above problems are being solved and addressed by Agritech startups. Agritech is the use of technology in agriculture to increase the yield and profitability. In 2016, over $3Bn was invested in agriculture sector worldwide.

These technology startups are creating new jobs within agriculture sector. Over the past few years engineers, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists have shown more interest in Agritech space. More than $35 million was invested in various startups in 2017. There is enough scope for investment and growth in this space in the coming years.

One of the major challenges for these Agritech startups would be talent attraction. The traditional middle-class population have not developed a mindset to accept permanent jobs in agriculture sector considering the current pathetic condition of farmers in India. The education ecosystem in India is not producing enough employable engineers/graduates for the growing Agritech space. However, engineers from various premier institutions in India are founders, co-founders and investors of various Agritech startups.

A list of promising Agritech startups

  • Ravgo
  • Aibono
  • CropIn
  • Goldfarm
  • Flybird innovations
  • Crofarm
  • Triton Foodworks
  • Bighaat
  • Kamal Kisan

Some of the job roles in Agritech startups are listed below

  • Software/App/platform developers – to develop online mandi/stores/marketplaces
  • Mechanical/Civil engineers - for enabling vertical/terrace farming
  • Data Scientists - for data driven forecast/Advisory/prevention control measures in farming
  • Chemical/Agro chemical engineers - for pest control/decrease the wastage of crops
  • IOT/LTE/Wifi/Network engineers - for communication between various devices/sensors/equipment etc.
  • Agri-Analytics/Decision scientists - for better yield
  • Drone designers/engineers - for capturing images/monitoring/irrigation etc.

After fintech and foodtech, Agritech seems to be a more promising space for new jobs and growth. Recruitment firms should seriously think about developing and attracting manpower for the Agritech space. Government is taking necessary steps to increase the income of farmers and entrepreneurs. Ministry of agriculture in India has taken steps to generate funds and improve the Agritech startup ecosystem in India.

For get more insight into Agri-tech Consulting, do check out the infographic mentioned below: