EDGE INDIA AGROTECH: Providing High Quality Turnkey Agro Economic Solutions for High Margin Crops Under Shelter Farming

EDGE INDIA AGROTECH, a leading solution provider for protected cultivation and Agro consultancy has executed a large number of greenhouse projects in North India and is involved in crop management for self and clients. It further plans to extend its footprint across key regions of India by bringing back focus to farming and farm life by using sustainable and modern farming techniques, which improves commercial yield for the farmers, thereby contributing to both humanity and the environment.

EDGE INDIA AGROTECH’s Unique approach to serve their Clients

The organization is proffering some ground-breaking services which help their clients to stay ahead in the area of Agro-tech. EDGE INDIA AGROTECH provides some innovative solutions that attract their treasured clients. These solutions include Construction of Net Houses, Poly Houses, Poly Tunnels, Natural shade houses, Irrigation solutions, Climate control solutions and Crop management (including production and selling) through its sister concern Himalayan Eco Farms. They also offer Consultancy including Govt. Liaising, Project report preparation for Bank funding and for obtaining subsidies from concerned Govt. departments.

Protuberant Leaders of the Organization

With the diverse expertise, EDGE INDIA AGROTECH, the company is directed by three intellectual leaders.

Mahesh Sood, Planning & Operations, is a Dreamer & Visionary with ground experience of more than 25 years in different streams, like Poultry, Inverter systems, RO water, and Agro sector. He has focused on creating a sustainable generation of next agro modules in diverse climatic zones, challenging status quo and designing methodologies to shape future growth in the agro sector.

Nalin Sood, Strategy, Marketing & Business Development, is a seasoned-FMCG Professional with diverse experience across the globe. He completed his B.tech and MBA from Delhi University. He has more than 20 years of rich international experience in marketing, strategy, and operations across developed and developing markets and across multiple consumer categories. Nalin has held senior level position including Global Brand Marketing Director (Reckitt & Benckiser U.K), Executive Vice President – Foods (PepsiCo India), and CMO for South Asia (S.C.Johnson). His deep desire to do something more “purposeful” and “fulfilling” has led him back to agriculture.

Vivek Sharma, Technical and Production, is a young idealist and a hardcore workaholic. Vivek has a degree in B.Tech and has ventured a few years in the unorganized agro sector with zeal to understand and challenge the wave of change towards secure sectors and urban migration. Vivek, a national level cyclist, worked with Firefox and discovery before venturing into the agro sector.

Analysis of Existing Agro Scenario

The agro-industry is still underdeveloped, undervalued and largely fragmented. India is far behind than many other countries in terms of productivity per unit resources. EDGE INDIA understands that creating a larger scale commercially viable agro modules and growing residue free food is the future potential that can develop rural terrains and generate rural employment. According to the company, following structural changes are required.

Financing:

  • Bank funding for sheltered farming projects is unfriendly. Despite Agro being a govt. of India priority sector, bank funding for such projects still attract huge interest to the tune of 12-14 % under the category of term loan and with huge collaterals. Instead it should be treated as agro loan with reasonable interest rates and easier collateral norms.
  • No support from Financials institutions like SIDBI and no coverage under programs like “Stand up India” or “Start-up India”

Taxes and Subsidies

  • Setting up of Green Houses involves 18% GST, which is a big deterrent. This adds up to the already high cost of protected cultivation.
  • Process for getting State or NHB (National Horticulture Board) subsidies is cumbersome and time consuming. Moreover, even after getting approvals / LOI (Letter of Intent) the subsidies are credited after long delays sometimes as much as 2 years. The interest cost for already burdened farmers keeps escalating.

Some Innovative Steps which helped the Company to Stay Ahead

The first foray by the team was in 2008 with the biggest Polyhouse project in Himachal covering nearly 25,000 sq. meters. It failed due to misguidance on project execution and commercial viability. The team was dependent on 4 different partners (infrastructure / irrigation / planting material/ consulting) each having different interests. Agro economics and ROI made by Edge India was least priority for any entity. This failure pushed the team to go deep into the subject and manage this first hand with the aim of developing a future concept of one window solution with accountability.

Initially, the team faced many problems mainly 1) funding, 2) unreliable crop economic data, irrigation & pesticide schedules and 3) lack of Govt. support. Thanks to the following initiatives, the team revived their projects from failure to the biggest success story in Himachal Pradesh:

  • Inputs from the best global consultants from Israel, Holland, Italy, Japan, and California.
  • Created more than 60 acres of protected cultivation projects for in different states.
  • Educated farmers, using different private and government forums.
  • Organized educative seminars, workshops and Participation in agro fairs
  • Partnered with Govt. agriculture and horticulture boards to work out ways to advance and support protected cultivation and agro economics.

Diverse Strategic Approaches

Edge India offers end-to-end agro solutions including consultancy, project execution, and crop management. The organization manages its own playhouses and cultivated land and thereby has an extensive experience in farming (including floriculture and horticulture) and therefore, relies on ground experience and not just academic knowledge.

Future Aspects

Given lack of government support, dwindling farm holdings and lack of viable financing, farmers in India continue to struggle as modern farming techniques are still being adopted at a very slow rate. By understanding these core issues, EDGE INDIA AGROTECH  will focus on using a highly innovative approach that includes: Import Substitution of Key Agro Inputs, Commercially viable & sustainable high end modern farming techniques, Focus on high margin crops, Diversification into more agro services & products (including e-commerce), Processed food, Cold chains solutions  and Agro-tourism. This will allow EDGE INDIA AGROTECH to develop the agro solutions industry holistically.