With an investment of $272 billion in agritech and allied segments by 2030, India can generate $813 billion in revenue, creating 152 million jobs, making it the largest private sector industry in the country, according to a report. With agriculture remaining the mainstay of the Indian economy, investment in agritech and allied segments can transform the face of Indian agriculture with far-reaching implications for food security and sustainable farming solutions, according to a report titled 'Investing for Impact: Food, Agri and Agritech' by Aspire Impact.
In the past decade, India attracted about $9 billion in foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the agriculture sector, said Amit Bhatia, founder of Aspire Circle and creator, Impact Future Project. He added that this decade brings an opportunity for India Inc to take advantage of the massive untapped potential this sector holds and transform it to be sustainable and future-ready.
"With smart innovations, infrastructure and policy support and newer business models, the top-10 ideas researched by the IFP community can attract $272 billion in investments and generate $813 billion in revenue, impacting 1.1 billion lives," he added. The report has been authored by leading agritech experts, industry leaders, academics and thinkers.
The report further said India has its share of challenges when it comes to agricultural practices, including mechanisation levels, which is at 40-45 percent unlike 90 percent in the developed economies. The country has been estimated to be at the biggest production risk with 68 percent of the cultivation area being directly dependent upon the monsoon, accounting for 40-45 percent of total agriculture production it noted.
With a gap of 3.2 million tonnes in cold storage, the food processing industry incurred a loss worth $14 billion in 2018. At the same time, the report stated that 55 percent of the country's forests are prone to fire with 70 percent having no natural regeneration.
The demand for key foodgrain is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3 percent against the projected population growth of 2 percent, further underlining the challenge that the country faces today. To meet its dairy needs, India would require around 600 million tonnes of milk per year in 2060 and onwards, it said, adding that significant investments in the sector along with a policy push is needed to ensure transformation in agriculture practices and ecosystem.
With agritech startups and innovative models speculated to dominate the sector, India Inc has already started paving this path to change, it said.