Microsoft will provide agritech startups access to Microsoft’s cloud platform – Azure FarmBeats built for agriculture segment on top of the company’s cloud computing services Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced a dedicated programme for agritech startups in India. The programme — Microsoft for Agritech Startups — will provide young enterprises access to Microsoft’s cloud platform – Azure FarmBeats built for agriculture segment on top of the company’s cloud computing services Microsoft Azure. This will help startups “focus on core value-adds instead of the undifferentiated heavy lifting of data engineering,” the company said in a statement. Through Azure FarmBeats, startups can aggregate agricultural data from different sources, build AI/ML models using the data fused from sensors, drones and satellites, and also set-up their own customized digital agriculture solution.
“Sustainable agricultural technology can transform the global food landscape. Agritech startup innovations are addressing some of our key challenges connected to agriculture and food production,” said Sangeeta Bavi, Director, Startup Ecosystem, Microsoft India.
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Startups, which have raised seed to Series C round, will be able to get Azure benefits including free cloud credits, unlimited technical support and help in onboarding the Azure Marketplace. Startups will also be able to co-sell products with joint go-to-market strategies and sales opportunities with Microsoft’s partner ecosystem. Moreover, entrepreneurs would be able to set-up customized solutions with FarmBeats without any investment in deep data engineering resources.
As per Tracxn data, there are 535 agritech startups in India while according to Nasscom every ninth agritech startup in the world is from India. These startups are tapping into new areas such as market linkages, digital agriculture, improved access to farm inputs, farming-as-a-service etc. AgroStart, CroFarm, CropIn, Bijak, Intello Labs etc. are among the leading startups in the agritech segment in India. The sector is growing at 25 per cent year-on-year rate. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had recently announced a Rs 1.63 lakh crore package for agriculture and allied activities in the country to boost infrastructure, logistics etc. The announcement was made in the third tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package.