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India is largely an agriculturally based country with more than 50% of its workforce employed in it and ranks second in worldwide farm output.
This is clearly a good reason for Microsoft to invest in India’s agriculture industries.
On Wednesday, Microsoft launched a new program to help agritech startups in India to build industry-specific solutions, scale and grow with access to deep technology, business, and marketing resources.
It is a three-tier program that offers tech and business enablement resources to Series C startups that can boost their businesses with Azure benefits (including free credits), unlimited technical support and help with Azure Marketplace onboarding, the company said in a statement.
Microsoft said start-ups are already transforming Indian agriculture by developing innovative digital solutions to maximize productivity, improve market linkages, and increase supply chain efficiency.
This program is set to bolster the country’s start-up ecosystem by offering best-in-class tech and business enablement resources to help start-ups innovate and scale fast.
Start-ups can secure access to Microsoft’s agriculture-specific cloud platform Azure FarmBeats and its associated data, allowing the businesses to focus on value-adding rather than resource-consuming data engineering.
According to the United Nations, the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion by the year 2050, which means there will be more mouths to feed with the same or lower arable land and unpredictable weather patterns due to climate change.
“We need to grow more food. But not just food, we need to grow more nutritious food without harming the planet. We need to do all this with an amount of land that isn’t increasing and water levels that are receding,” explains Chandra the founder of FarmBeats.
Sangeeta Bavi, director, start-up ecosystem of Microsoft India, said that “Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Ag-tech start-up innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production.”
With technology inculcated in Indian agriculture, it can truly transform the lives of debt-ridden Indian farmers and could finally give them a voice and authority to be self-reliable.