The agricultural sector in India serves as the foundation for a diverse range of industries, significantly impacting the nation’s economy. This blog delves into the top 15 agro-based industries thriving in this dynamic landscape. From food processing and textiles to biofuels and pharmaceuticals, these industries leverage the rich agricultural resources of India. Join us as we explore each sector’s scientific intricacies and economic significance, shedding light on their vital contributions to the country’s growth.
Role of Agro-Based Industries in India’s Economy
The agricultural sector is a cornerstone of India’s economy, profoundly influencing its development. Notably, the emergence of diverse agro-based industries has driven approximately 17% of the nation’s total GDP. This pivotal sector also provides livelihoods for nearly 60% of the country’s population.
At its core, agro-based products stem from the raw materials derived from agricultural produce, encompassing a spectrum from paper and textiles to sugar and vegetable oil. For those eager to delve into the intricacies of India’s agro-based industries or harbor aspirations to venture into this realm, this article provides an insightful exploration.
Fascinating Insights into Agriculture and Allied Industries
- Nourishing the Economy: Food is a paramount necessity for humanity, intertwining food security with economic prosperity.
- Pillars of Food Security: Post-independence, India zealously pursued self-sufficiency in food security through renowned government initiatives and subsidies. The consequential Green Revolution of the 1960s remains iconic.
- Thriving Exports: Presently, India ranks among the top 15 global agricultural product exporters. Notably, agricultural exports to the USA during FY20 witnessed a remarkable surge of 17.34%.
- Sustained Significance: Despite challenges like climate change and trade complexities, the agricultural sector remains a substantial contributor, constituting 17% of India’s GDP.
- Employment center: With a staggering 60% of the workforce engaged in agriculture, it commands its status as the largest employment provider. This sector has also spawned allied industries, colloquially known as agro-based industries.
- Unveiling Agro-Based Industries: Such industries thrive on agricultural resources, metamorphosing into novel products. India’s repertoire encompasses textiles, paper, sugar, vegetable oil, and more.
- Textile Dominance: The textile realm reigns supreme, contributing nearly 20% to the country’s industrial output.
- Dynamic Evolution: The agro-based sector has morphed over the years, molding into various types contingent on market profitability.
Diverse Agro-Based Industries Shaping India’s Economy
1. Agro-Processing Industries: This integral industry strategically positions itself in the supply chain, extending the longevity of agricultural products through packaging and preservation. The textile and sugar industries exemplify this category, optimizing transportation, handling, and storage.
2. Agro-Products Manufacturing Industries: These industries craft entirely new products from agricultural produce. Often, raw agricultural materials undergo processing to yield innovative products. Sugar factories are a quintessential example of this segment.
3. Agro-Input Manufacturing Industries: This sector contributes to enhancing agricultural production. Fertilizer and agriculture machinery production units exemplify the role of agro-input industries, fortifying the agriculture landscape.
4. Agro-Service Industries: The agricultural consultation, research, equipment supply, and education sectors collectively comprise agro-service industries, bolstering the overall agricultural domain.
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Exploring Prominent Agro-Based Industries in India
1. Textile Industry: Textiles contribute around 20% to India’s industrial output as the foremost agro-based industry. This sector employs over 20 million individuals, propelling nearly 33% of the country’s exports.
2. Cotton Textile: India is the top cotton producer, with the textile industry producing woven fabric from spun cotton yarn. Cotton production marked 360 Lakh bales in FY21 till May.
3. Silk Textile: Emerging as the second-largest producer of natural silk globally, India’s silk industry thrives, particularly in Karnataka. Boasting all five types of silk, it’s a hub of silk-related products.
4. Food Processing Industry: With a burgeoning population, India’s food processing sector constitutes approximately 32% of the food industry. Technological advancements catalyze its growth trajectory.
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5. Dairy Industry: A major contributor to the economy, the dairy sector is fortified by “Operation Flood,” a monumental dairy development endeavor, rendering India the largest milk consumer globally.
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6. Sugar Industry: India’s prominence as the world’s largest sugar producer underscores its influence. Notably, sugar production stood at 30.4 million tonnes between October 2020 and May 2021.
7. Vegetable Oil Industry: Although a significant consumer of edible oil, India ranks fifth globally in its production. Changing dietary habits fuels demand and will grow by over 60% by 2025.
8. Tea Industry: India’s status as the largest global tea consumer highlights its significance. While domestic consumption prevails, exports remain substantial, with over 10 million people employed in related activities.
9. Coffee Industry: India’s position as the third-largest coffee producer and exporter is notable. The majority of its produce is exported, contributing to global trade.
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10. Leather Goods Industry: Employing millions, this sector holds global significance, with the potential to expand as urbanization rises.
11. Jute Industry: As one of the oldest agro-based industries, jute production thrives, driven by aesthetics and ethics.
12. Bamboo Industry: Surging demand for eco-friendly products and construction materials propels the bamboo industry’s growth.
Top 15 Agro Based Industries in India
Mahindra Agribusiness, a subsidiary of Indian multinational conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, is dedicated to advancing the agricultural sector. It operates along the agri value chain, tractors, and farm machinery, offering crop care solutions, irrigation systems, and financial services. The company also provides contract farming services, facilitating production planning, crop selection, and marketing assistance.
Mahindra Agribusiness has a significant presence in India, with 40,000 channel partners, 2500 dealers, and 4500 retail outlets. The company is committed to sustainable agriculture, championing precision agriculture, waste reduction, and organic farming initiatives. Digital platforms improve farmers’ access to essential agricultural inputs and services.
ITC Agribusiness Division
ITC Agribusiness Division, a subsidiary of India’s ITC Limited, is a major player in the agricultural sector, sourcing, processing, and exporting various commodities like soybean, coffee, wheat, pulses, spices, and oilseeds. It collaborates with farmers to boost productivity and income through 4,000 village-level procurement centers. Under “Aashirvaad,” the division offers packaged food products like wheat flour, spices, and ready-to-eat meals.
It has also entered the dairy industry through its subsidiary, ITC Dairy. In addition to its core agribusiness activities, the division is pioneering social and environmental initiatives, such as water conservation and soil health management. ITC Agribusiness Division is key in promoting sustainable growth and holistic development.
Godrej Agrovet Limited
Godrej Agrovet Limited, a subsidiary of Godrej Industries Limited, is a leading player in India’s agribusiness sector. The company’s operations span animal feed, crop protection, oil palm, dairy, poultry, and processed foods. Its animal feed division serves poultry, cattle, aquaculture, and pets, while its crop protection division uses agrochemicals, seeds, and bio-products to enhance crop productivity.
Godrej Agrovet’s oil palm presence in India and Indonesia is thriving, with its subsidiary Creamline Dairy producing and distributing milk and milk-derived products. The company’s processed foods segment offers packaged products like “Real Good Chicken” and “Yummiez.”
Jain Irrigation Systems
Jain Irrigation Systems is an Indian MNC providing integrated agriculture solutions across the entire value chain. They offer a variety of irrigation solutions, including drip and sprinkler systems and water management solutions for urban and rural areas. The company also focuses on agriculture technology, offering precision farming solutions like soil moisture sensors, weather stations, and crop management software. They have developed innovative farming techniques like hydroponics, aeroponics, and fertigation.
Jain Irrigation Systems also operates a subsidiary, Jain Farm Fresh Foods Limited, which produces and distributes processed foods like fruit pulp, juice concentrates, and frozen fruits and vegetables. The company is actively involved in sustainability initiatives, promoting sustainable agriculture practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving water conservation. Jain Irrigation Systems is also developing digital platforms to improve farmers’ access to agricultural inputs and services.
UPL Limited, an Indian multinational, is a global leader in agricultural solutions, offering various products from seeds to post-harvest care. The company focuses on crop protection, seed treatment, and post-harvest care, ensuring farmers can protect their crops from pests and diseases. UPL’s innovative seed treatment technologies improve seed quality and yields.
Post-harvest solutions, including storage, packaging, and preservation, also contribute to a sustainable agricultural journey. With a global presence in 130 countries, UPL commands key positions in key markets like India, the US, Brazil, and Europe, demonstrating its commitment to nurturing and improving agricultural practices globally.
Rallis India Limited
Rallis India Limited is an agrochemical company offering various agricultural solutions, including agrochemicals, seeds, and fertilizers. The company specializes in crop protection remedies like herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, which help farmers protect their crops from pests and diseases.
It also provides premium-grade seeds for various crops, including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and vegetables. Rallis India also focuses on plant nutrition solutions like fertilizers, micronutrients, and soil conditioners, which help farmers improve yield and quality. With a strong presence in India, the company exports to numerous countries and invests in research and development to enhance productivity and profitability for farmers.
Syngenta India, an affiliate of Syngenta, is a leading agricultural company offering diverse solutions to farmers. It provides top-tier corn, soybeans, vegetables, rice seeds, and robust crop protection tools like herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. Syngenta also offers plant health and growth solutions, including biostimulants and soil conditioners. The company also leads in digital agriculture and farm management software, offering precision agriculture tools and data analytics to farmers make informed decisions, ultimately increasing productivity and profitability.
DuPont India, a subsidiary of DuPont, is a global science and engineering company that offers innovative solutions to industries, including agriculture. The company provides crop protection products, seed solutions, and digital agriculture solutions to farmers. It offers herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to protect crops from pests and diseases.
DuPont India also provides high-quality seeds for various crops like corn, soybeans, and canola. The company also offers digital agriculture solutions, such as precision agriculture tools, farm management software, and data analytics tools, to improve farmers’ productivity and profitability.
Coromandel International Limited
oromandel International Limited is an Indian agrochemical company that offers comprehensive agricultural solutions across the entire value chain, from seeds to post-harvest. The company provides crop protection remedies like herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to protect against pests and diseases. It also offers premium-grade seeds for cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and vegetables.
Coromandel also focuses on plant nutrition innovations like fertilizers, micronutrients, and soil conditioners to enhance yield and quality. With a strong presence in the Indian market and a global footprint through exports, the company’s commitment to progress is evident through investments in research and development.
National Agro Industries
National Agro Industries, an Indian company, is a leading agricultural machinery and equipment manufacturer, offering various products, including cultivators, plows, seed drills, rotary tillers, and harvesters. With over four decades of experience in the sector, the company has a strong presence in the Indian market and exports to the US, Europe, and African nations. In addition to machinery, the company provides farmer-centric services, including training and support. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their initiatives and investment in innovative technologies.
Advanta India Limited
Advanta India Limited is an Indian agriculture company that offers high-quality seeds for various crops, including corn, cotton, rice, vegetables, and oilseeds. The company focuses on research and development, investing in new seed varieties to enhance farmers’ productivity and profitability.
Advanta India Limited has a state-of-the-art research center in Hyderabad, India, where it researches crop genetics, plant breeding, and seed technology. In addition to its seed business, Advanta India Limited provides training and support services to farmers. The company has a strong presence in India and exports its products to different countries.
Nuziveedu Seeds Limited
Nuziveedu Seeds Limited is an Indian seed enterprise offering farmers high-quality seed solutions, including cotton, maize, rice, and vegetables. The company is dedicated to research and development, investing in new seed varieties to boost farmers’ productivity and profitability.
It has multiple research and development centers across India, focusing on genetics, plant breeding, and seed technology. Beyond its core services, Nuziveedu also provides farmer-centric training and support. The company’s strong presence in the Indian market is reflected in its global exports.
Bayer CropScience Limited
Bayer CropScience Limited, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is a leading agricultural company offering various solutions to farmers. The company provides premium-quality seeds, including corn, cotton, soybeans, and vegetables, and comprehensive crop protection products like herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides.
It also provides plant health and growth solutions, including biostimulants and soil conditioners, to improve yields and quality. Bayer CropScience also leads digital agriculture solutions, offering precision tools, farm management software, and data analytics to boost productivity and profitability. The company’s global presence reflects its commitment to modernizing agriculture through innovation, science, and technology.
PI Industries Limited is an Agrochemicals and synthesis company that offers innovative solutions to farmers, global agrochemical companies, and pharmaceutical companies. The company provides crop protection solutions, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, with proprietary molecules developed through strong research and development capabilities.
PI Industries Limited provides services to global agrochemical and pharmaceutical companies in the custom synthesis business, including custom manufacturing, process development, and research services. The company also offers manufacturing services to various industries, including automotive, chemicals, and aerospace.
Dhanuka Agritech Limited
Dhanuka Agritech Limited is an Indian agrochemical company that offers crop protection solutions to farmers, including insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and plant growth regulators. With over 8,800 distributors and dealers across India, the company has been at the forefront of the Indian agrochemical industry. Dhanuka Agritech Limited also provides seeds and fertilizers to enhance farmers’ yields and quality. The company invests in research and development to develop innovative solutions that improve profitability and reduce environmental impact.
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In India, a diverse spectrum of agro-based industries flourishes, contributing significantly to the economy. These industries encompass crop protection, seed solutions, digital agriculture, and more, all geared toward enhancing agricultural productivity, sustainability, and farmer prosperity.
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