Investments from venture capital firms in agri-tech startups are expected to exceed $500 million (around Rs 3,730 crore) in the next two years as entities engaged in helping farmers, enabling financing for them and enhancing farm mechanization attract significant interest, a report by Maple Capital Advisors said on Monday.
India's agri-tech sector attracted about $245 million in investments from venture capital firms in 2019, the report titled 'India Agritech Investment Trends' said.
"The golden age of Indian agriculture may well have just begun backed by unparalleled digital access to farmers, overarching reforms, and government support. The farmer as a consumer and a producer is now being empowered by access to information, inputs, farm to fork linkages, and financing support," Maple Capital Advisors, Managing Director, Pankaj Karna said.
He added that the investment momentum is expected to continue on the back of significant reforms and digital inclusion.
The report said there are more than 500 active agri-tech startups in the country that are working towards solving the problems and challenges in the agriculture sector. The agri-tech revolution has empowered farmers to get better quality inputs, timely information, access to markets, and thereby the potential to yield higher income levels, it added.
"Farm and fork linkages model is expected to continue to attract major investments in the years to come," the report said.
It noted that the government has announced a number of policy measures for the agriculture sector, and these steps are expected to strengthen infrastructure logistics and capacity building. It also paves the path for increased private sector participation across the farm-to-fork chain.
Notable deals in 2019 and 2020 included Tiger Global investing $89 million in Ninjacart, AgroStar raising $27 million in funding led by Bertelsmann India, and fresh produce distribution startup WayCool receiving $17 million from LGT Impact, Caspian and Northern Arc, it added.