India’s Agriculture In Maps & Numbers

India's Agriculture In Maps & Numbers

With farmers protesting the proposed Farm Bills 2020, let us have a look at the landscape of agriculture in India through some interactive maps and numbers.

Crux of the Matter

With the issue revolving around APMCs, firstly let’s have a look at whether a state has adopted APMC act.

Now let us have a look at the annual average income of farmers in India through an interactive map below. Note that 2013 numbers have been adjusted for inflation. Feel free to click on a state and know its stats.

How much land does a farmer on average own in each state? Find out below.

The following infographic details out how much does agriculture contribute to each state’s GDP.

Understanding Farm Sizes Using Football Field
Dimensions of a football field are 67.5 metres x 105 metres in general. This results in a square metre area of ~7,100.

1 acre equals to ~4,050 metre square, meaning roughly 2/3rd of a football field.
1 hectare equals to ~10,000 metre square, meaning roughly 1 and a half football fields.
However, bigha does not have a standard measure, and it ranges from state to state. Usually, 1 bigha equals 0.4 to 0.6 acres.

How Much Does A Farmer Earn?
Let’s look at the earnings of a paddy growing farmer for instance. MSP on paddy in 2020 is ₹1868 per quintal.
Now 1 ton = 10 quintals.

Average yield of paddy in 1 acre land is 4 tons or 40 quintals.
Therefore, earnings on growing paddy in 1 acre land = 40 x ₹1868 = ₹74,720.

Now as 1 hectare = 2.5 acres,
average yield of paddy in 1 hectare land is 10 tons or 100 quintals.
Therefore, earnings on growing paddy in 1 acre land = 100 x ₹1868 = ₹1,86,800.

Now as 1 bigha = 0.6 acres,
average yield of paddy in 1 hectare land is 2.5 tons or 25 quintals.
Therefore, earnings on growing paddy in 1 acre land = 25 x ₹1868 = ₹46,700.

  • eNAM is an online trading platform for agricultural commodities in India. The market facilitates farmers, traders and buyers with online trading in commodities. The market transactions stood at Rs. 36,200 crore by January 2018, mostly intra-market.
  • Kisaan is a 2009 Bollywood action thriller film directed by Puneet Sira, which focuses on Farmers’ suicides in India. Farmer suicides account for 11.2% of all suicides in India.
  • In 2006, the Government of India identified 31 districts in the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Kerala with high relative incidence of farmers’ suicides. A special rehabilitation package was launched to mitigate the distress of these farmers.

Agriculture Startups In India

Agriculture Startups In India

Since the majority of India’s workforce (~42%) is occupied in the agricultural sector, India is often termed an agrarian country. Climate change has severely impacted the methods of agriculture and crop production in India. With increasing unpredictability of factors affecting crops, farmers are adopting new technologies and this has created opportunities for tech-based startups in India. But does India have an environment to allow the growth of such Agriculture startups? Let’s have a comprehensive look at Agri-tech startups in India.

Crux of the Matter

India’s Agri Outlook
Currently, India has 145 million farms and 53% of the farming area is under irrigation. 126 million hectares is under foodgrain cultivation, yielding 285 mn tonnes of foodgrain.

India, despite having a huge reliance on the agriculture sector for employment, seems to be spending less on Research & Development in the agricultural sector, which experts say results in low productivity. Lack of use of scientific methods, overdependence on guesswork, and farmers with no or little information of new technology and farming methods are some other issues. However, the Indian Agriculture startups are inclined towards resolving these traditional issues of farmers with the help of modern technology involving the use of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, etc.

How Can Tech Help?
In tech-based farming, sensors are installed on farm that can collect information on temperature, light, soil Ph values, moisture content, etc. Some sensors deployed at 18 inches below the soil can collect microclimatic readings and soil data. Now, agriculture startups are equipped to collect, analyze, and convert these data into precise actionable intelligence for farmers. The inputs from startups help farmers know how, when, and where to use fertilizers, irrigate, and start sowing or reaping. Moreover, cameras placed around a farm can detect pests and signs of diseases. Ultimately, the adoption of such technology in farming is expected to minimize risks associated with farming and make farming more predictable.

Evaluating Pros And Cons

Why Is Agritech Popular?Signs Of Caution
Govt push to double
farmer income
AI, IoT and ML, are
expensive tech
Improves rural infrastructureAgritech fails if scale is
not achieved
Agriculture Sector’s
resilience during Covid-19
High mortality rate
among agritech
readiness to start Agritech
Limited-exit options for
Mainstream venture
capitalists showing interest
in Agri sector
Lower returns when
compared with
ecommerce or fintech

A Look At Some Agritech Startups
It is a Chandigarh-based startup that uses computer vision and spectroscopy for post-harvest inspection of tea leaves. It has developed a technology that analyses tea leaves by checking its fiber content. It took the company 18 months and half a billion leaves to develop an algorithm to detect the quality of tea leaves more quickly and effectively. It must be noted that $3 billion worth of tea trade happens annually via visual inspection.

It is a Bangalore based startup that monitors critical parameters 24x7x365 from farms and uploads it on the Fasal cloud platform. Farm-level data is then used by prediction engines to predict the ideal growth conditions, resource requirements including irrigation, sprays, fertigation, and other preventive measures. The data is then analyzed and presented, making the crop’s health accessible anytime, anywhere on any device for data-driven decision making. Farmers get notified on their devices about daily and important updates.

Aqua Farms
A Chennai-based Agro Startup, Aqua Farms offers hydroponic home kits that are plug-and-play solutions to grow leafy greens – they are shallow-rooted plants that do not demand extremely rich soil, but they do need plenty of sun and a constant supply of water. The kit comprises of nutrient filling technology. It costs ₹6,000-45,000 for output of 2-20 kg of leafy greens per month. This technology is best suited for land-scarce urban hubs.

It is a Hyderabad-based Agro Startup that uses hydroponics technology to grow vegetables at a commercial scale. It grows 70 varieties of crops, including tomatoes, potatoes, and onions, in indoor farms that are no more than 2,500 sq feet. “We grow 30x more vegetables than what can be done in soil farming, using 95% less water,” says Vihari Kanukollu, CEO & Cofounder of Urbankisaan.

  • Mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks. Non-food products produced by mariculture include fish meal, nutrient agar, jewelry (e.g. cultured pearls), and cosmetics.
  • Agripreneur is an entrepreneur whose main business is agriculture or agriculture-related.
  • The Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana is the largest agriculture university in Asia. It was established in 1962 and is the nation’s third-oldest agricultural university. The National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) ranked PAU 51st among universities in 2019.

PM Wants Better Equipment for Farmers to Counter Stubble Burning

In an effort to combat stubble burning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the Agricultural Ministry to hand out better equipment to farmers to prevent such practices. This comes in the wake of massive smog problem in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Crux of the Matter
  • This has been PM Modi’s first measure to contain the winter air pollution that plagues Delhi annually.
  • Stubble burning by farmers, especially in Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.
  • Proper equipment will be provided to farmers in an effort to reduce stubble burning.

Stubble burning by farmers in these three states, especially Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in northwest India has been cited as a major cause of air pollution in Delhi. In late September and October each year, farmers mainly in those two states burn an estimated 35 million tons of crop waste from their paddy fields after harvesting, as a low-cost straw-disposal practice to reduce the turnaround time between harvesting and sowing for the second (winter) crop. Read More

50% Jump in India’s Organic Produce Exports for 2018-19

As per data published by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA), Indian exports of organic products shot up by 50% to cross Rs 5100 crores in 2018-19.

Crux of the Matter
  • Around 2.7 million tonnes of certified organic products were produced by India.
  • Major organic produce includes oilseeds, cotton, medicinal plants, tea, coffee, spices, vegetables, fruits and dry fruits.
  • In 2017-18 organic product exports had increased by 39%.
  • As of FY 2018-19 around 3.56 million hectares of land fell under organic farming certification.

Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. Certified organic agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total in Australia. Organic farming continues to be developed by various organizations today. It is defined by the use of fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. Organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. More Info