Japanese startups inspired by Indian agriculture business

Farming Indian National Highway 34 Santipur Nadia 2013 03 23 7002Among the Japanese startups are Agribuddy, who have designed apps for the agriculture sector and will start operations by October in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan has ignited renewed interest of Japanese businessmen and there are today more than 1,100 companies operating in India. Following the slowdown in world trade, Japan’s trade with India had also decreased.

There will also be three startups in India with five more in the pipeline. They are mainly into food processing, waste management, automotive and internet of things, said Naho Shigeta, MD of infoBRIDGE Holdings Group.

“Unfortunately with big Japanese companies decision making is slow. So we are dealing with startups. They are aggressive and speedy. They don’t have much financial investment but they can create new eco-system and also bring technology from outside to India,” said Shigeta, noting that she believes startups can create new businesses in India.

They arrange for loans from the banks for farmers and buy their produce and export them to Japan. The other is SenSprout which specialises in soil health and helps the farmer to increase his yield which in India is just 50 per cent.

The third is in an advanced stage of negotiations. There are huge opportunities for the export of cashew, sesame and shrimps from India among other agri and processed food products. Presently, said Shigeta, the largest import by Japan is in cashew where India tops (9,549 tonnes in 2014) followed by shrimp (167,000 tonnes; second largest), sesame around 160,000 tonnes.

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