#decODEconversations: Episode 3

| 22 September 2021

In a discussion with Hemendra Mathur, Co-Founder of ThinkAg, and Rikin Gandhi, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Digital Green, we explore the transformative potential of Open Digital Ecosystems (ODEs), particularly in agriculture.

The conversation delves into the following themes (with time stamps):

[2:17 – 11:37]: Placing farmers at the heart of agri digital infrastructure in India

[11:38 – 24:29]: Minimum viable infrastructure and early use cases

[24:30 – 32:52]: Building digital solutions and addressing the digital divide

[32:54 – 36:21]: Opportunities for agri start-ups

[36:22 – 43:19]: Translating a vision to reality

You can read the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare’s Consultation Paper on IDEA (India Digital Ecosystem of Agriculture), referenced in the conversation, here.

Evocative quotes from our speakers

“Valuable soil health data is sitting in a digital database as a silo, separate from other pieces of farmer related data such as weather, cropping patterns etc. Imagine the power if all of this data could be combined, a National Agri Open Digital Ecosystem that could bring together data across soil, rainfall, cropping patterns, irrigation, as well as land records!” 

“I believe data and digitisation are critical to solve at least 90% of the problems which we see in Indian agriculture — be it farmers’ access to markets, credits, insurance, inputs, and data and advisory.”

“The solution I have in mind, I call it ‘PPE’ — ‘P’ for Policy, ‘P’ for Partnership and ‘E’ for entrepreneurship!”

“How do we think about how this data isn’t just aggregated from the point of view of Big Data analytics, but can flip the paradigm such that the farmer is able to gain maximum return for themselves?”

“What’s most critical is that we really show the value proposition at the end of the day to the farmer, but also to other stakeholders in the system, to see the value of bringing together this data in a shared, trustful manner.”

“The time is right, the start-up ecosystem is ready, the government is making the right noises, and the farmer is ready, most importantly.”

Episode Tags

AgriTech Ecosystem; Scalable digital solutions for farmers;  Early-use cases; AgriStack; Digital divide; Agri startups

Questions to reflect upon

– Do you think the vision for an Agri Open Digital Ecosystem can be transformational? Why, or why not?

–  What, according to you, is the most essential element of solution-building in the AgTech space?

–  Which conversations would you like from decODE in the future?! Write to us at [email protected] to share.

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