According to a new analysis by Bain & Company and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), private equity investments in the Indian agri-tech industry surged by more than 50% yearly to reach roughly Rs 6,600 crore by 2020.
The paper, titled ‘Innovation in India’s Rural Economy: Disruptive Business Models are Stimulating Inclusive Growth in Agriculture and Rural Finance,’ stated that the rural economy contributed about half of the country’s overall GDP in 2019–2020.
“In the past two years, two-thirds of India’s population participated in the rural economy, with agriculture-the largest sub-sector within the rural economy- providing around 37 percent of total rural GDP,” it stated.
It stated that since 2015, the Indian agriculture sector has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11%, owing to ‘government and private sector initiatives to upgrade the country’s physical and digital infrastructure.’
In terms of smartphone and Internet penetration, it has also seen the most upheaval. This ecosystem has reached a tipping point, and companies who solve inefficiencies throughout the value chain will see accelerated growth, according to the report.
“To increase efficiency and access to credit, significant local and international investments are being pushed into the sector. Investors have focused on opportunities that address systemic issues, build sustainable systems, and ensure inclusive growth,” according to the report, which stated that private equity investments in the agri-tech space have skyrocketed in the last four years, growing at a rate of more than 50% per year to aggregate approximately 6,600 crore by 2020.
According to the survey, several global IT giants perceive this field as new growth potential and are investing in cutting-edge crop health monitoring and yield estimating technologies.
“Food and agriculture disruption in India will evolve beyond traditional agriculture to new farming models, innovative agri-tech services, and new food items,” said Parijat Jain, partner and leader of Bain’s India Agribusiness team. “Several start-ups have developed in the last six years to eliminate systemic inefficiencies across inputs and marketplaces, precision farming, processing, and storage,” he noted.
Due to access to smartphones, lower data costs, and Aadhaar building a digital identity that enabled services such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and e-sign, UPI transactions have doubled in the past year, accelerated by the pandemic, processing eight times more transaction value today than credit cards.