In 2016, harvest and post-harvest loss of India’s major agricultural produce was estimated at Rs 92,651 crore ($13 billion) - almost three times as high as the 2016-17 budget for the agriculture sector. About 16 percent of fruits of vegetables, valued at Rs 40,811 crore ($6 billion), were lost between 2012 and 2014.
Poor access to reliable and timely market information for the farmers, absence of supply & demand forecasting, poorly structured and inefficient supply chains, inadequate cold storage facilities and shortage of proper food processing units, large intermediation between the farmers and the consumers are some of the major causes for the losses.
The India-Israel Bridge is seeking technological solutions to increase the efficiency of the agricultural chain and ultimately reduce waste while increase farmers’ earnings.
One of the biggest issues facing the agricultural sector in India is low yield: India’s farm yield is 30-50% lower than that of developed nations.
Average farm size, poor infrastructure, low use of farm technologies and best farming techniques, decrease of soil fertility due to over fertilization and sustained pesticide use, are leading contributors to low agricultural productivity. Indian farms are small (70% are less than 1 hectare, the national average is less than 2 hectares) and therefore have limited access to resources such as financial services, credit (or lenders), support expertise, educational services or irrigation solutions.
In the short-term, yield directly impacts a farmer’s cash flow and the ability to respond to fluctuations in the market. Long-term, yield limits a farmer’s ability to invest into their farm’s future to increase productivity and decrease risks associated with their crops (via inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, crop insurance, market/weather info, livestock health support, etc.) but also to invest into their families in areas such as education, healthcare, training, etc.
The India-Israel Bridge is seeking affordable, accessible, easy-to-use technologies, products or services to enhance agricultural productivity in India.