India’s Agri-Tech Startups Help Improve Agriculture

A Boston Consulting Group study titled ‘The Rising Connected Consumer in Rural India’ says “the number of connected rural consumers is expected to increase from about 120 million in 2015 to almost 315 million in 2020.”

Because of government initiatives such as Digi Gaon (Digital Village) and the Bharat Net project, which provide access to high-speed broadband connectivity, WiFi hotspots, and other low-tariff digital services, “more than half of all new Internet users will come from rural communities and rural users will constitute about half of all Indian Internet users in 2020,” says the study.

To cater to these customers, almost all agri-tech startups in India commenced operations to build mobile apps to solve problems related to quality of soil, weather prediction, pests, disease control, equipment, prices in markets, and storage of grain produced, reports Forbes.

Fruit vendor

Bangalore-based Nubesol technologies enables farmers to consult with agricultural scientists and also offers ‘Remote Sensing Technology’ that diagnoses soil health; Agrihub is an e-commerce ecosystem that connects traders, companies, and distributors with the needs of farmers; EM3 offers interventions from soil preparation to harvesting, where farmers pay a service fee calculated on a per-hour or per-acre basis; and Ergos offers micro and medium warehousing services. Pune headquartered AgroStar can receive real-time data on the pest or disease that has affected a crop and offer solutions.

“These startups are increasing productivity, bridging knowledge gaps, and making a huge difference in the way work is done in fields,” notes Forbes.

 

October 2, 2017   No Comments

Avery Dennison Inaugurates Innovation and Knowledge Center in India

Glendale, CA-based Avery Dennison, which offers pressure-sensitive label materials that can be designed and manufactured for any application, celebrated 20 years of operations in India, and also launched the Avery Dennison Innovation and Knowledge Center in Pune, 90 miles east of Mumbai.

A label

Print Week reports that on the occasion, Darren Milligan, senior marketing director, South Asia Pacific and Sub Saharan Africa, Avery Dennison, explained that the Knowledge Center “in collaboration with our industry partners, is an end-to-end training facility across both conventional and digital platforms.” The Innovation Center, he added, “features a highly qualified and connected research and development team” that had material science and analytical capabilities. “Our investment to integrate these two centers into a single location will accelerate our product development and ability to deliver faster solutions to meet customers’ requirements,” he said.

 

September 25, 2017   No Comments

India’s Scientists Create Artificial Leaf that Produces Energy

Scientists at state-owned National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, a city 90 miles east of Mumbai, India, have developed an artificial leaf that generates hydrogen.

The device consists of semiconductors stacked in a manner to simulate the natural leaf system. When light strikes the semiconductors, electrons move in one direction, and the ultra-thin wireless device mimics plant leaves to produce energy using water and sunlight.

a leaf

Chinnakonda S. Gopinath, a senior scientist at the laboratory said his team has been working for nearly a decade to split water molecules in order to generate hydrogen in this manner. “We have made an attempt to generate solar hydrogen. The method is simple and practical and there is a good possibility of scaling it up,” he said. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, says a palm-sized device can produce 6.3 quarts of hydrogen fuel an hour, reports NDTV. More work is needed on the project, added the scientist.

 

September 14, 2017   No Comments

Jeep Compass Sales in India Exceed Expectations

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is close to making more revenue in India than it invested in a factory at Pune, 90 miles from Mumbai, due to strong customer response to the Jeep Compass SUV it launched in late July.
“It is expanding into the world’s largest markets such as India that is fueling our growth and accelerating our expansion,” said Paul Alcala, who heads the company’s operations in Asia.
Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass

The Economic Times reports that the Italian-American automaker has so far secured orders for 8,171 units of Jeep Compass 2017 worth $245 million in India; the company has invested $280 million in the factory.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is ramping up production and is working toward a 25% more output than initially planned. The company says it will operate two shifts for six days a week for the first time since the plant was set up a decade ago. Production of export-designated vehicles has not started yet.

August 28, 2017   No Comments

Mars Food Acquires Tasty Bite in India

Mars Food, the European arm of Virginia-based Mars Inc, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Preferred Brands International, based in Connecticut. The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

Preferred Brands International, a manufacturer and marketer of ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products, in turn, owns a majority stake in subsidiary Tasty Bite Eatables which manufactures the ready-to-eat products under the brand name Tasty Bite in Pune, India. The Economic Times reports that the subsidiary will continue to be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the acquisition.

Tasty Bite Products

Mars Food Global President Fiona Dawson said, “Tasty Bite is a fast-growing Indian/Asian dinner time brand. Upon closing of the acquisition, Mars Food will expand our all-natural vegetarian offerings in the U.S. and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavor expertise and strategic sourcing of quality ingredients throughout our portfolio.”

 

August 16, 2017   No Comments