tamil nadu: Tech serves Tamil Nadu farmers | Chennai Information

CHENNAI: Palani Muthu from Sirkazhi has been farming shrimp for the previous 17 years. Three years in the past, when he was fighting poor survival of shrimp, he discovered of Aquaconnect. A consultant from the acquaculture startup visited his farm and helped him repair the issue. Now, the startup helps with common water high quality testing, tray administration, and so forth., to enhance productiveness, says Muthu. Aquaconnect additionally will get him higher costs with funds obtained the identical day. Earlier, Muthu says, he needed to test with a number of brokers to get value and cost took 25-30 days.
Reworking the agriculture sector, which accounts for 12% of the state’s economic system, is essential to Tamil Nadu’s aim of attaining a $1 trillion economic system by 2030. Now the sector is benefiting from entrepreneurial motion. Three strengths of the state have led to a mushrooming of agri startups — sound highway infrastructure, information connectivity in rural districts and digital cost techniques. These have led to extra farmers partaking with the new-age startups. A number of startups, buyers and mentors TOI spoke to stated it’s not nearly farmers utilizing YouTube on their telephones to modernize farming kinds. There’s a sea change within the mindset.

“There may be openness from the farmers to make use of various fashions for market linkages. The day-to-day bodily practices have additionally modified because of affiliation with startups,” says Avinash Kasinathan, chief of technique & know-how of agri-tech startup WayCool Meals. WayCool’s Outgrow app has round 1.20 lakh downloads and 35,273 lively customers, one-third of them from Tamil Nadu. It’s a platform for realtime mandi costs, crop well being, automated soil testing and farm advisory in a number of regional languages. Most agri startups advise on cultivation methods,post-harvest storage and distribution, and assist farmers uncover markets and get a daily earnings. They’ve additionally pushed natural farming, which brings premium costs for farmers and higher high quality for shoppers.
Chennai-based Aquaconnect, a full-stack aquaculture platform, was not too long ago on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos to showcase its choices. These join farmers with upstream gamers (hatcheries, feed producers) and downstream events (importers, processors, exporters) by an AI-backed system. Founder and CEO Rajamanohar Somasundaram says they assist decrease the price of inputs for farmers by 10%-15% and likewise ease monetary pressures by blended financing. “By way of Aquaconnect’s options, farmers get higher worth realization for his or her produce by 5%-10%,” he provides. The startup has raised greater than `130 crore in funding from world and home buyers.
Samunnati, an agri worth chain enabler, says Tamil Nadu has a little bit of catching as much as do with Maharashtra and Gujarat, however ranks excessive within the high quality of credit score. Samunnati, which works with 200 FPOs in Tamil Nadu, additionally has Samaarambh to combine and improve capabilities of agri tech startups. “We have now greater than 500 startups registered on Samaarambh with 80-plus lively engagements,” says Anuj Narag, group enterprise head at Samunnati.
BigHaat, a digital agri platform that not too long ago launched its cellular utility in Tamil, finds farmers within the state to be progressive and digitally savvy. Extra farmers have smartphones in Tamil Nadu than the nationwide common, says Sateesh Nukala, founder and CEO of BigHaat.
Naga Prakasam, a mentor and investor in agri startups, says they’ve helped cut back price of manufacturing, although there has not been vital wealth creation for farmers and no main change within the high quality of their lives. “It’s nonetheless early; the income fashions are nonetheless a piece in progress. Farmers need higher costs, and firms should attempt for that” he says.
UzhavarBhoomi, an end-to-end milk supply firm primarily based in Nethapakkam, stands out for reworking its neighborhood. The startup has ensured regular earnings for greater than 2,400 cattle homeowners and created jobs for 45 rural youths who act as procurement brokers. The startup can also be constructing an IVR-based cost system to settle dues of farmers effectively. Vetrivel P, founder and CEO of UzhavarBumi, says Tamil Nadu’s farmers are educated and greater than recommendation they want higher costs and a clear system for funds.

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