ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How Did Agri-start-ups Fare during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Challenges and the Way Forward

Although agricultural start-ups in India took a hit due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown, they have enormous potential in aiding economic recovery. A survey of 162 start-ups from 29 states, located in 98 cities, reveals that many start-ups have tailored their products, modified their technologies and invested in their long-term growth potential, even as they suffered from liquidity crunch, lack of investor funds and poor demand. The government should provide capital access, market access support and end-to-end solutions for innovation and marketing towards harnessing the power of these start-ups.

The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 and resultant national lockdowns have plunged the global economy into a recessionary phase, with most countries sealing their international borders and restricting movements of people and trade. In India, the lockdown from 24 March to 31 May had affected all sectors of its economy. Even after the lockdown, the uncertain economic environment prevails in both the formal and informal sectors.

The agriculture sector, which still employs about 44% of the workforce, has been the least affected, although it has been facing multiple challenges such as in harvesting, procurement and storage of crops, ensuring the right price at the right time to farmers and in preparing for the next sowing season. In addition, they are struggling to ensure undisrupted food supply with last-mile delivery after maintaining new protocols of social distancing, restricted mobility of resources, shortage of labour, and liquidity crunch in the market, along with other inherited challenges at the farmers level. There is a need to develop new, innovative and indigenous technologies, processes and procedures, services, business models and customer acquisition models aligning with the central governments policy of making India a self-reliant nation. To move forward, equal and meaningful participation from all stakeholders of the ecosystem is required.

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Published On : 12th Jan, 2024

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