Opportunities


Startups in Livestock and Agri allied sectors-Scope & Opportunities

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

                          India is emerging as a global destination for Innovation, Incubation and Start-ups and provides great opportunities. Government of India has come up with exciting programmes to support startup ecosystem and to nurture innovations and launched Startup India action Plan for bringing in policies and frameworks that can support and nurture the start up eco-system. I am sure this sensitisation workshop and business competition will address insights from the experiences so far and also to examine other critical measures that need to be taken up which can further enhance the outcomes and envisaged goals of the Country. India ranks third in Start up ecosystem after United States and UK and is emerging as a hub for innovation and has a large population of youth with untapped ideas. Innovations can trigger social change and solve problems faced by contemporary India. Bangalore ranks first in innovation and start-up destination in the Country. Recent findings reveal that success rate in start-ups are only 30 percent. International trading system, economic impact, policies, technology solutions and digital innovations are the major areas which facilitates Startups in the country.
Agri Incubators are breakthrough simulation game that helps disruptive entrepreneurs to create break through innovations, develop stronger business models and entrepreneurial strategies. The presence of vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem is one of the key features of developed nation and a critical enabler for finding solutions to the regional problems. Precision agriculture, aimed at increasing productivity from the land is acquiring momentum across the globe. There are systems in which Irrigation, dispersion of nutrients and fertilizers are being done by drones which are emerging as third dimension mode of transportation.
While thinking of innovation we should keep in mind why we need to innovate? More than 52 percent companies among the Fortune 500 companies disappear because of poor sustainability. Need of the hour is to identify technologies which can be scaled up across the growing population. Internet of things, Sensors, solutions, transactions, transportation, online platform and social entrepreneurship are gaining momentum across the world. India is still an agrarian economy and has more than 50% of the working population involved in agriculture. This sector had shown significant fall in growth from 25 to 14%. This has resulted in widening of growth inequities between urban and rural areas. Improving productivity, quality of crops and value addition of agriculture produce would boost farm incomes and promote agribusiness industries which can provide gainful employment to rural youth. Innovative technologies will help to improve farm productivity.
Livelihood issues, Entrepreneurship, Food security and food safety issues, One health and public health issues, Demographic dividend towards youth and Increasing consumerism are some of the recent trends in agriculture. Prospects for Ready to cook and ready to eat products are emerging at a time when Women are working as home managers and started outsourcing foods. Programmes to prevent Protein malnutrition with Consumer awareness programme have immense prospects for scaling up. The National dream is clean air, clean water and clean India. India ranks 69 in the world in gross development index.
Today youth is emerging as job creators rather than job seekers. There are ample opportunities for innovation in information technology and Biotechnology. In India services sector supercedes all other sectors. Now there are no services available in India without ICT or online. The number of internet users in India is likely to more than double to 730 million by 2020 of which more than 75 percent of new users would come from rural areas. Interestingly 75 percent of new users are expected to consume data in local languages. E commerce market in India is expected to double to 34 billion US dollars by 2020.The number of online shoppers is likely to more than triple to 175 million from current 50 million. By 2020 India will have an estimated 702 million smart phones in use and mobile phones will emerge as the preferred device for shopping, accounting for 70 percent of total online shopping. Two Billion people in the world are using internet. One Billion people are regularly browsing Face book. Power of innovation is changing day by day. Future business is going to be through social media. We will have to think of next generation IT solution for 2020. By 2020 consumer, expectations and innovations will change.
In India basic challenge is between automation and skilled labour, documenting Vs knowing and advanced manufacturing vs jugaad. Capacity building will create talent pool. Genomics, food production, health and hydrogenation are important. In the Agriculture sector farm to fork is acquiring momentum. 30% production loss occurs in agriculture sector. Innovation needs to be linked to market need. Learn and experimentation is more important. India has 126 million hectare of arable land. Cultivable lands are 185 million hectares. More than 50% land is for primary food production. Agriculture is the largest private enterprise. Initially it was ship to food or ship to mouth. Now it is aimed at self sufficient in food production. Innovation is changing in the context. Average Indian consumer is looking for convenience, quality and safety. Agriculture should focus on demand driven value chain. There are huge prospects for organic and safe to eat products in Agriculture, Dairying, livestock and allied sectors. Recently consumers realised the deleterious effect of foods with excess antibiotics and pesticides. It has been projected to double the income of farmers by 2022 which will facilitate technologies. Irrigation, soil health and water conservation were given due coverage in the recent budget. Organic farming has been identified as one of the key areas for sustainable agriculture. Value addition, connectivity to market and e commerce are some of the recommendations in the budget which facilitates market led production. 100 percent foreign direct investment has been allowed in e commerce &food processing sector. Innovation has volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity. It is the process of dreaming and doing. How fast we are implementing the dream is important in innovation decision making process. Cloud, mobile, data, design and flat world are part of innovation. Cloud involves architecture changes, open source and new business models.
It has been envisaged that by 2030 number of students in the higher education sector will increase from 30 million to 70 million with the GER of 50 percent. It has been forecasted that 23 Universities will reach the top 200 of the World by 2030. The coming years will witness spectacular employment opportunities in E commerce, Innovation, communication, new media, Business analytics, Entrepreneurship, cloud services, biosciences, Retail industry, Agribusiness and Food processing sectors. India needs to create 1.5 Crore jobs per year for the next ten years to provide employment to youngsters. India is second largest smart phone market in the World and third largest country for downloads in 2015 within the Google Play Store. 66 Apps installed per user, 23 used daily.
Mobile, the low cost technology with hi speed self service and fastest growth is emerging as the Flat world platform for distribution and monetization. There are huge opportunities for digital led innovations in marketing. It can be ICT or smart phone based. Digital led deliverables are required for knowledge, production and marketing since knowledge is production. In order to increase production and to increase productivity with market led approach startups with appropriate innovations are required. In agriculture sector success depends on integration or convergence of different sectors like dairying, livestock, fisheries, etc. Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University launched a novel project called startup village through integrating different sectors to promote the production of safe to eat products in kole lands. At a time when food safety issues are emerging across the country, production of organic/safe to eat products with ICT deliverables will help to promote employment and sustainability in agriculture. University’s E Vetconnect and advisory call centres provide appropriate information and services as and when required. Students need to think of appropriate innovation based on their ideas and to incubate and accelerate with appropriate deliverables. As demand increases start-ups in agriculture has lot of prospects ahead. This sensitization workshop and business plan competition will facilitate students to venture in to sustainable and viable startups which can create umpteen opportunities across South India.
A-IDEA-Association for Innovation Development of Entrepreneurship in Agriculture is a Technology Business Incubator hosted by National Academy of Agricultural Research Management, Hyderabad & Department of Science & Technology housed in the Centre for Agri-Innovation at NAARM for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture in India. Though agribusiness incubators are important to promote entrepreneurship and commercialization of new technologies in agriculture, the incubators are yet to receive sufficient attention and funding in India.

 

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