Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming

AGTECH Pitch Competition

The Government of Andhra Pradesh, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dalberg Advisors and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), invites applications for a Pitch Competition to identify technology-based solutions that solve agricultural challenges faced by small and marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh.

Finalists will get an opportunity to pitch to leading investors, government officials, and the global community at the Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming Summit to be held in Visakhapatnam on November 15-17, 2017. Chief Guests at the event will be the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, and the co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates.

In addition, winners will get an opportunity to sign an MoU with the Government of Andhra Pradesh to roll out their solution in the state.






Kisan Network is a Y-Combinator (YC) and Thiel Fellowship backed online trading platform for Indian agriculture. It enables small and marginal farmers to sell their fresh produce directly to businesses across the country, using their smartphone. Kisan Network takes care of the complete pan India supply chain, from the farm directly to the buyer’s doorstep.

1st runner-up

Infinium is CMMi Level3 company, primarily into providing solutions using GIS Geographical Information System), Remote Sensing, LiDAR, Drone, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), GPS (Global Positioning System) and High- Precision Ground Surveying (DGPS, Total Station, GPS) Technology. Their solutions are Web Based, Real Time, Informative, as well as provide analytical data for various sectors such as Agriculture, Smart Cities, Urban Planning, Mining, Infrastructure, Governance, Land Administration, Logistics, Oil and Gas, Public Transportation, Health Care and Port Management.

2nd runner-up

SatSure Analytics India aims to increase the effectiveness of the entire agriculture value chain by enabling financial inclusion of farmers through data driven insights, improving the efficiency of marketplace and the supply-chain for agri input producers, traders, and policymakers, by creating unique risk management solutions that make use of multi-sensor data such as satellites, IoT, and drones, and artificial intelligence algorithms to derive actionable intelligence.

3rd runner-up

Krishi Star is a farm to fork business that is ending poverty among smallholder farmers in rural India by increasing farmer ownership of the value chain and connecting farmers to higher margin markets. Krishi Star is building a network of farmer-owned food processing units, and selling products through their Krishi Star brand.

4th runner-up is an agricultural inputs digital platform for farmers to procure a wide choice of branded and quality inputs that range from seeds to agri implements. It is a disruptive supply chain technology platform benefiting stakeholders across the agri ecosystem. Quality of inputs is vital to crop quality and yield, therefore availability and accessibility of right inputs to farmers is key to farmer empowerment. By providing right and relevant advisory, BigHaat empowers farmers to take the right decisions at the right time.

BharatRohan is involved in empowering farmers by reducing their losses through the prediction of pest attacks and disease outbreaks using Drone/UAV based Hyperspectral Remote Sensing, Data analytics, and machine learning technologies.

eKutir identifies and trains existing community agents’/farmer cooperatives, armed with mobile devices, to interface between farmers and our powerful digital platform. The agents gather valuable farmer data reliably and consistently on the mobile platform – “FarmChalo”, allowing previously disconnected smallholder farmers’ access to sustainable inputs and markets. The platform generates farmer-specific, unique and intelligent solutions. FarmChalo records farmer data, interactions, and transactions and is used to map and assesses a farmer’s risk, interpret them, and deliver actionable information to mitigate their risk and improve their productivity and increase income, through data-driven recommendations and exchange of products.

EM3 AgriServices Pvt. Ltd. is India's first and leading venture that provides farm mechanization services to the small and medium farmers of India on a pay-for-use basis, across the entire cultivation cycle. Services are digitally provisioned and provided under the brand "Samadhan" from fulfillment centres known as "Samadhan Kendras". These are manned by agro-business professionals, managed technologically and equipped with company owned and third party equipment, which are operated by company trained and certified operators. The company has successfully served farmers on over 70,000 acres and currently serves over 1,000 additional acres every day.

Manuring it! envisions creating a hyper local market for the smallest of small farmers, by bringing indigenous farm inputs (real time credit and farm technology) on a digital platform: accessible through one mobile missed call for accessing credit and renting modern farm equipment in real time, using data and primary distribution coral networks.

National Agro Foundation (NAF) a Public Charitable Trust founded in 2000 by C Subramaniam, (Architect of India’s Green Revolution) and nurtured by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, Former President of India, is working towards Comprehensive Rural Development initiatives with focus on agrarian community. With its significant experience of 17 years, NAF has reached out to 642 villages spread over 5 Indian States benefitting about 51,000 rural families, through programs and projects in Sustainable Agricultural Development and AgriBusiness, Watershed and Natural Resource Management, Community Development including FPOs, SHGs etc and Training and Capacity Building of the Stakeholders.


Technology-enabled Rural Advisory Services (RAS) v2.0

Solutions that deliver on-time, tailored and actionable information to farmers enabling them to adopt better farming practices.

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Technology-enabled Rural Advisory Services (RAS) v2.0

Solutions that deliver on-time, tailored and actionable information to farmers enabling them to adopt better farming practices.

Small and marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh often have limited access to timely, hyperlocal information, and rely on sources that provide generic advisory. Often, the information is dated or based on old heuristics (old editions of books, practices followed by their friends and family, etc.). Consequently, farmers may adopt ill-informed farming practices that can be detrimental to the farm, and adversely affect their incomes.

Increasingly, Rural Advisory Services (RAS) are going beyond just disseminating knowledge about best practices. As the extent and granularity of data increases, advisory services can be increasingly customized to a farmer’s specific needs. Some of the services that fall under RAS 2.0 are image analysis for plant health diagnostics, combining satellite imagery and soil sensors to relay information on sowing periods, appropriate fertilizer use, etc.

The GoAP is looking for technology solutions that transform the current advisory delivery landscape and enable farmers to access accurate and timely information that is tailored to their individual needs at various critical decision points in the farming cycle.

Technology-enabled market linkages

Solutions that connect farmers to a wide range of input sellers, and/or buyers of agricultural produce, providing farmers an increased array of options.

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Technology-enabled market linkages

Solutions that connect farmers to a wide range of input sellers, and/or buyers of agricultural produce, providing farmers an increased array of options.

Small and marginal farmers in Andhra Pradesh often have limited options to procure inputs, and/or engage with different output markets. As a result, they can sometimes make sub-optimal decisions that increase the costs of acquiring inputs, and/or reduce the price that they can realize from the sale of their produce.

Increasingly, digital platforms are reducing the traditional dependence on middlemen by linking farmers to input companies, and/or output buyers and providing new avenues for farmers to access complementary services such as transportation and quality control.

The GoAP is looking for technology solutions that disrupt the traditional agriculture value chain and enable farmers to reduce the cost of acquiring inputs and/or realize a fair price for their produce by linking them to input/output markets.

Digital Financial Services for agriculture

Solutions that provide low-cost, tailored financial products to small and marginal farmers.

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Digital Financial Services for agriculture

Solutions that provide low-cost, tailored financial products to small and marginal farmers.

Small and marginal farmers often require working and growth capital at different points during the cropping cycle, and often have a small window to access it. During these moments, challenges such as complicated procedures, lengthy loan processes, need for collateral, etc. often dissuade farmers from adopting institutional sources of finance. Consequently, they often take loans from informal sources which charge a much higher rate of interest. On the other hand, banks and insurance providers lack adequate information about small and marginal farmers to create products that suit the farmer’s needs. These challenges especially affect the landless, who cultivate on land they do not own.

To overcome these challenges, organizations are using alternate data and creative data collection methods, such as purchase patterns of pesticide and fertilizers, receipt of government benefits, use of advisory services etc., to provide farmers access to on-tap credit solutions and insurance products.

The GoAP is looking for technology solutions that revamp traditional financial products and provide, or enable the provision of, low-cost, tailored products that meet the unique needs of small and marginal farmers.

Data mining for agriculture

Solutions that collect and use granular farm and farmer data to develop B2B and B2G agriculture products and services.

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Data mining for agriculture

Solutions that collect and use granular farm and farmer data to develop B2B and B2G agriculture products and services.

The GoAP has led the monumental task of collecting farm and farmer data, which is powering the agricultural revolution in the state. There is an opportunity to further enhance the collection and use of data with the objective of developing solutions for other agri-businesses (B2B) and government services (B2G) with the aim of increasing farmer welfare.

For example, the use of remote sensing technology and large-scale methods of data collection such as satellites and drones, combined with on-ground data collection efforts have enabled the creation of massive datasets that are providing the building blocks for the development of innovative products for both farmers and other players in the ecosystem.

The GoAP is looking for B2B and B2G technology solutions that use data to reimagine the practice of agriculture and provision of allied services, by enabling farmers, policy-makers, and other players to make proactive farming-related decisions.

Note: Solutions with a specific focus on horticulture and livestock sectors, or on leaseholder/landless farmers will be given priority. All solutions should be focused on transforming farming livelihoods of small and marginal farmers.


Applicants are invited to participate and apply through an online process. Following an intensive search and selection process, finalists will be invited to present to the jury on November 16 at the Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming Summit in Visakhapatnam. Details for the final round will be shared with the selected participants at a later stage.

Applications closed

Why should you apply?

Attendees of the Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming Summit will include a variety of eminent stakeholders including senior government officials, AgTech investors, entrepreneurs and start-ups, global incumbents, and leading academics. You will get the unique opportunity to:

Implement your ideas at scale

The winners will have the opportunity to sign an MoU with GoAP to roll-out their solutions. The government will work closely with the innovators, and help them deploy their solution in the state.

Receive recognition from pioneering leaders

The Pitch Competition will be judged by an eminent jury and the winners will be announced at the Progressive Farmer, Smart Farming Summit. Chief Guests at the Summit will be the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri N. Chandrababu Naidu, and the co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates.

Showcase your solution at a global event

Finalists will get the opportunity to network with investors, AgTech experts, industry leaders, and government officials, and engage with the global AgTech community at the Summit.

Who is eligible to participate?

To participate in the pitch competition, your solution must:

  1. Be technology-enabled
  2. Have a primary focus on small and marginal farmers
  3. Have been in operation for over 6 months and have at the minimum a proof-of-concept in place
  4. Be ready to deploy
  5. Not have an ongoing engagement with the Government of Andhra Pradesh

How will we select the finalists?

A panel of experts will assess applications based on the following criteria:

  1. Potential for impact
  2. Sustainability of business model
  3. Incremental benefit to collaborating with the GoAP
  4. Design of the proposed pilot program and the ability to scale effectively and quickly

About the Organizers

Government of Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is a pioneering state in India when it comes to adoption and implementation of technology-driven initiatives across the agricultural value chain. The State has recently launched a smartphone-based plant diagnostics app in Telugu in collaboration with ICRISAT. The State’s Agriculture Department is extensively using predictive analytics based on satellite data to forecast water-stressed farms crops-wise in order to provide productive irrigation through rain guns, another technology initiative introduced last year for rain-fed farming. The Government of Andhra Pradesh would like to build on this momentum, and welcomes the opportunity to arrive at contextually-relevant solutions for the State to take forward, and achieve the agricultural goals set out in the Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Vision 2029.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

India is investing significantly in the health and social development of its people, working to enable millions of people to participate in the country’s growth and economic progress. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works in alignment with India’s objectives - partnering with India’s central and state governments, community groups, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, development organizations and the private sector, to achieve shared goals. With a focus on helping all people lead healthy and productive lives, the foundation develops innovative solutions to improve the quality and coverage of key services, primarily across four sectors: Health, Sanitation, Agricultural Development, and Financial Services for the Poor.

Dalberg Advisors

Dalberg is an advisory firm dedicated to social and economic development of the global poor, with the mission of bringing the best of private sector strategy to address global development challenges. Dalberg has 17 offices across the globe and our clients span the public, private and philanthropic sectors. In the agriculture sector, Dalberg has worked on over 150 projects advocating, understanding, and helping solve problems facing agriculture actors at the international and local level. Dalberg has helped leading organizations identify, design and implement solutions that benefit agricultural market participants and increase food security.

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the development of India, partnering industry, Government, and civil society, through advisory and consultative processes.

CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization, playing a proactive role in India's development process. Founded in 1895, India's premier business association has over 8,500 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 200,000 enterprises from around 250 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.

CII charts change by working closely with Government on policy issues, interfacing with thought leaders, and enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and strategic global linkages. It also provides a platform for consensus-building and networking on key issues.

Extending its agenda beyond business, CII assists industry to identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes. Partnerships with civil society organizations carry forward corporate initiatives for integrated and inclusive development across diverse domains including affirmative action, healthcare, education, livelihood, diversity management, skill development, empowerment of women, and water, to name a few.

The CII theme for 2017-18, India Together: Inclusive. Ahead. Responsible emphasizes Industry's role in partnering Government to accelerate India's growth and development. The focus will be on key enablers such as job creation; skill development and training; affirmative action; women parity; new models of development; sustainability; corporate social responsibility, governance and transparency.

With 67 offices, including 9 Centres of Excellence, in India, and 11 overseas offices in Australia, Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Singapore, South Africa, UK, and USA, as well as institutional partnerships with 344 counterpart organizations in 129 countries, CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community.


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