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Brief: Amazon launches agronomy service for Indian farmers

September 3, 2021

  • Amazon Retail, the Indian e-grocery business of US tech giant Amazon, has started offering digital agronomy services to farmers in the country, the Business Standard reports.
  • The platform provides crop plans aimed at improving yields and quality, pest and disease alerts, and farm management software that can be accessed via mobile app – as well as a team of agronomists who can give more comprehensive advice to farmers.
  • Amazon also said it is building “robust temperature-controlled supply chain infrastructure” to preserve the quality of farm produce and reduce food waste.

Why it matters:

Over half of India’s population is employed in agriculture, and the sector makes up around a fifth of the country’s GDP. But the majority of farms are smallholdings relying on manual labor and outdated practices; while the infrastructure around the farm — from pre-harvest inputs and supplies to post-harvest transportation and storage — is riddled with inefficiencies that lead to wasted food and lost income for farmers.

In a report released earlier this year, Bain & Company estimated that India’s market for tech-enabled ag logistics, offtake, and input delivery could add $35 billion in value by 2025.

Amazon isn’t the only internet giant that’s trying to make the most of this opportunity. Last year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in mobile network carrier Reliance Jio, with digitalization of India’s ag sector highlighted by the company as part of its motivation to do the deal.

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