Tech, infra upgradation vital for agri-business
Ritwik Mukherjee

The key determinants of growth of agri-business in India would include mobile-based extension, protected cultivation of high value cr o ps, pesticide-residue free fa r ming and organic farming.

The key determinants of growth of agri-business in India would include mobile-based extension, protected cultivation of high value cr?o?ps, pesticide-residue free fa?r?ming and organic farming.

It would also include hydroponics, data analytics ac?r?oss the value chain, use of internet of things (IoT), robotics (use of drones in agriculture) and virtual marketplaces supported by physical inventory carrying infrastr?u?c?ture like storages, said AP Sinha, director, NAPl Advisors. These areas have started witnessing increasing tra?c?tion, he added.

NAPL Advisors is a niche consulting firm aimed at pr?o?viding strategic and operati?onal advisory, as well as im?p?lementation assistance in the agri-biz, skilling and rur?al area development doma?i?ns. Sinha said the Indian ag?r?iculture as a whole and the?se areas in particular ha?ve a huge scope of innovation.

Meanwhile, with farming becoming more global GAP compliant (including awareness about and adherence to traceability), the country will see a rise in high value exports where India has a natural competitive advantage, or geographical indications.

Products like grapes, basmati rice, spices, herbs, oleoresins, essential oils among others, shall continue to witn?ess growth. India shall, ho?w?ever, continue to be deficient in pulses and edible oil, said Sinha.

Despite improvements in communication te?c?hnology and re?a?ch of technology to our villages, last mile conne?ctivity remains a major constraint. The government extension machinery is obsolete and there is a need for an overhaul, to bring it up to  today’s times, he said.