In India, the requirement for food is rapidly growing because of the increasing population. The agricultural sector of India contributed 17.8% to its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, and this percentage is likely to grow in the upcoming years. In order to fulfill the demand for food, the main focus is on improving the farming productivity. In this regard, some of the major factors that would result in the growth of the Indian farming as a service market are the improvements in the internet connectivity in rural areas and initiatives taken by government and private companies to improve the productivity and efficiency of the agriculture sector.
The COVID-19 pandemic is projected to assist the Indian farming as a service market. It can be attributed to the recent hefty funding raised by various enterprises, including Clover Ventures Private Limited and LeanCrop Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Furthermore, FaaS provides solutions that aid in the conversion of fixed costs into variable costs, thus resulting in less-expensive farming approaches. These benefits will help the market grow in the coming years, as like most people, farmers are witnessing weak finances during the pandemic.
The Indian FaaS market is classified into farm management solutions, services, and market access solutions, on the basis of type. Among these, the major share of the revenue was held by the farm management solutions category in 2020. It can be credited to the heavy investments by private and public organizations and presence of a large number of market players, such as ITC Ltd., Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., and Deere & Company. Moreover, new businesses are starting to enter this market, which would result in the development of new products and services, thereby increasing the interest in farm management solutions.
Recently, many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups have entered the Indian FaaS market, and they are launching an array of farm management and market access solutions. For instance, For example,
In February 2021, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. opened Krish-e centers at five locations in Karnataka, which provide many services and solutions to farmers, such as advanced farm equipment rental and agronomy advice. Krish-e centers are now present in all major agricultural states, such as Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, apart from Karnataka.
In June 2020, KhetiBuddy Agritech Private Limited launched a free mobile app, named Kheti Buddy Farm, for farmers, which helps them in harvesting and sowing and the management of fields. Additionally, it allows for the personalization of the schedule for each crop, based on weather, soil information, and inventory data.
Some of the major players operating in the Indian FaaS market are Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) Ltd., ITC Ltd., Cropin Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Ulink Agritech Pvt. Ltd., Em3 Agriservices Pvt. Ltd., Utkal Tubers India Pvt. Ltd., Intello Labs Pvt. Ltd., RML Information Services Pvt. Ltd., KhetiBuddy Agritech Private Limited, and Deere & Company.