India-Israel: Growing Challenges and AgriTech Solutions

Following the historic visit of India’s prime minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to Israel, I would like to shed some light on another aspect of Indian-Israel relations – in the AgriTech Space. Further exploration of the Indian agriculture challenges and possible Israeli AgriTech solutions can be found in a new whitepaper published by Start-Up Nation Central. Here are some key concepts.

India is an agriculture giant

India is the largest producer of spices, millet, and wheat. Agriculture plays a major role in India’s economy and social fabric, with 17% of the country’s GDP, and more than 58% of the country’s rural households, dependent on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. More than 263 million Indians – over half of all workers in the country – are employed in the sector. Rapid industrialization, global population growth, and changing eating habits are resulting in increased demand for nutrient-rich food, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat, in India and worldwide.

While India’s global dominance in agriculture presents a vast opportunity, there are also many challenges, such as fragmented land holdings, aggressive use of chemicals, inefficient use of water or lack thereof, obsolete farming technology, rising input costs, limited access to credit and insurance, supply-chain problems, and outdated marketing.

Most of India’s 140 million farmers use traditional methods that limit crop yields and productivity, thus ultimately impairing farmers’ welfare, prosperity, and security.

These challenges provide an opportunity for growth and development, though the complexities and unique characteristics of the Indian market must be considered to ensure success. Introducing innovation and technology is the only way to achieve food security.

Israel’s AgriTech is growing

Israel is known for its leading technology and innovation, specifically for its agriculture expertise.
Due to Israel’s shortage of natural resources, it has developed innovative methods and technologies for “growing more with less” under difficult conditions, long before increasing agricultural productivity became one of the world’s most acute issues. With over 400 companies offering AgriTech solutions, and leading academic institutions, such as the Agriculture Research Organization (ARO), The Hebrew University, the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Technion, Ben-Gurion University and Tel-Aviv University, Israel is well positioned to work and collaborate with India to help overcome these pressing needs.

Start-Up Nation Central and Wikistart whitepaper

The following whitepaper summarizes key findings from a report written by Start-Up Nation Central and the crowdsourced consultancy Wikistrat. As part of SNC’s strategic focus on Israeli AgriTech, and the projects we are initiating to help Israeli start-ups best realize their potential, we set a specific goal towards creating stronger connections between India and Israel, leveraging Israeli innovation to help address some of India’s critical issues and needs. Through this project, we have identified the following:

  • Areas of agriculture in India ripe to benefit from Israeli innovation: From Hybrid seeds, biopesticides, and Irrigation, to farm machinery, advice and knowledge sharing, resource management and precision agriculture, post-harvest and integrated value chains. For each category, we share a short analysis of India’s leading challenges today and give a few examples of Israeli start-ups tackling the space.
  • Key factors to be considered for successful implementation of AgriTech solutions in the Indian market: The unique characteristics of the different states that make up India; forming partnerships with established players with nationwide distribution networks; targeting smallholder farmers; local production and gaining empirical evidence, and choosing the right marketing strategies.

We are excited to share with you these key insights, and hope you find them interesting and beneficial! Click here to download your whitepaper.

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