"The company aims to significantly improve farm efficiency thereby helping farmers become world-class agripreneurs, while delivering above industry RoI (Return on Investment) to its shareholders. "
Founded by a group of eight senior level people from diverse backgrounds, Agritech Enablers Private Limited will facilitate and de-risk agri-technology adoption by India’s small and marginal farmers for enabling manifold increase in farmers’ income.
The Agritech Enablers founders are: Vijay Pahwa (Director, Rubber Skills Development Council); Ranjiv Dalal (ex-DGP, Haryana); Asoka Iyer (Senior position at Apollo Tyres); RK Bahuguna (ex-CMD, RailTel); Sanjay Vidyarthi (Ex-MD, iQor); Surendra Yadav (Farmer); Ajit Sinha (Director, InvestCare); and Kashyap Kumar (ex-Naval Captain).
The company will significantly improve farm efficiency thereby helping farmers become world-class agripreneurs, while delivering above industry RoI (Return on Investment) to its shareholders.
The small and marginal farmers constitute 88% of India’s 145 million strong farming community. These farmers have exceedingly small farm sizes on an average 0.6 hectare (1.5 acre) farmland and average agri-income is Rs. 3,140 per month per family of 4.9 members.
These small and marginal farmers cannot grow enough on their farms as they have poor bargaining power, limited access to capital and extremely poor productivity because of low technology adoption. Enablement of these 127 million small and marginal farmers, who support nearly 625 million family members, will galvanize India’s rural and national economy and will generate unprecedented wealth for all stakeholders.
Agritech Enablers intends to handhold the farmers end-to-end for adoption of technology through the Build-Operate-Sustain-Transfer (BOST) model.
The company will focus on: Arrangement of funds for Capex and farm operating expenses for technologies; Technical and operational support (technology selection, deployment, planning, processes and systems development, quality management and operations & management); Sales and marketing of produce, establishing market linkages and institutional sales; Business management; and creating world-class agripreneurs.
The business model of the company is based on revenue/crop/profit share with the farmer or on a fixed income basis to recover its investment in the program. Partnering farmers will also get an assured compensation equivalent to his/her current earnings from the farm.
The initial plan is focused on: Developing a rented polyhouse; Partnering with farmers for establishing polyhouse; Partnering with farmers for tech enabled development of open farms; and exploring supplementary income avenues.
First, to develop a rented polyhouse as a learning platform to establish crop and farm planning, processes, systems, quality management, operations & management and establish market linkages. Second, partner with farmers for establishing polyhouse and as a proof of concept, execute on the full business and operational model. Third, partner with farmers for tech enabled development of open farms as a proof of concept, executing a full business model. Fourth, explore supplementary income avenues for the farmers (solar power on farms, food processing, etc.
"We believe, India must find its biggest opportunity in small and marginal farmers. For India to become a powerhouse, we must enable these 127 million small and marginal farmers who support nearly 625 million family members – that is almost 2x of the US population and 1.25x of all of the EU's – that is an amazing opportunity for India waiting to be harnessed," said Sanjay Vidyarthi, Co-founder, Agritech Enablers.
"We also believe technology is the greatest enabler of them all. And that is what we are focused on doing – enabling technology for these small and marginal farmers that will deliver significant productivity increase resulting in manifold increase in their income. A solid business case exists for making these small and marginal farmers prosperous and world-class agripreneurs, while delivering solid returns to the investors, and that is what Agritech Enablers is pursuing," added Vidyarthi.
Talking about business models, Sanjay Vidyarthi said, "Agritech Enablers intends to build a scalable, sustainable and adoptable model for the industry. Our job is to remove all the obstacles for these small and marginal farmers in technology adoption that can truly make a significant positive impact on their lives, and in the process crack a vexed developmental problem for the country, while making money for the investors."
Agritech Enablers intends to help build replicable, scalable and sustainable business models for the farmers that can be forklifted for implementation pan-India.