Agro-chemical firm Dhanuka Agritech on Wednesday said it has made investments in two start-ups so far and is open to invest in more such companies to support young entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector.
In 2021, Dhanuka Agritech announced an investment of Rs 30 crore in Gurugram-based agri drone manufacturer IoTechWorld Avigation for a minority stake.
"We have made investments in two startups. There are many young entrepreneurs who have great products and technologies. We are ready to support," Dhanuka Group Chairman R G Agarwal told reporters here.
He said the company would invest in more such start-ups if it finds the right opportunity.
Agarwal said IoTechWorld has a lot of order books as drones are now increasingly being used in the agriculture sector for spraying pesticides and other activities.
The second startup where Dhanuka has invested makes IoT- and AI-based equipment for the farm sector like soil sensor, he added.
Agarwal made a strong pitch for the integration of technological advancements, such as drones and artificial intelligence, with the agriculture sector.
"These technologies can help in identifying crop diseases and pests attack in advance, as well as assist in the efficient use of fertilisers and water management. With the help of these technologies, farmers can make informed decisions based on real-time data and plan their crops better," he said.
Talking about the challenge for the agrochemical sector, Agarwal said the supply of spurious pesticides is one of the major challenges as it hurts the interests of both farmers and manufacturers.
He said the company has already adopted a QR code on all its products to check the menace of sales of spurious products in the parallel market.
Agarwal said the company is running several campaigns to increase awareness about the use of the right quality farm inputs and purchase against bill only.
The sale of substandard/ spurious/ smuggled/ duplicate pesticides has a detrimental impact on crop yields and farmers' income. Low-quality products fail to effectively control insects and pests, resulting in significant crop losses, he added.
The chairman urged both the central and state governments to take stringent action against entities involved in the sale of substandard spurious/ smuggled/ duplicate agrochemicals and agri-inputs.
Dhanuka Group has three manufacturing units located in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir. The company posted a turnover of nearly Rs 1,500 crore in the last fiscal year.