Quanto Agro, a Mumbai-based AgriTech firm, is empowering local farmers in India by assisting their transition into profitable commercial-scale lemongrass farming, apart from expediting the creation of super crops such as corn, rice and wheat.
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, India remains a predominantly agrarian nation, both culturally and economically. The agro sector contributes nearly 16% of the nation’s GDP, while over 70% of its population is associated with farming, either directly or indirectly. In general, India’s primary commercial crops comprise rice, wheat, sugarcane, and so on.
However, the traditional methods employed in farming these crops, especially since the Green Revolution, have been majorly fertiliser-intensive and non-sustainable. Consequently, there have been severe impacts on the lands, livelihoods, and lives of farmers across India.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dual shift in the global scenario around farming, in sync with the broader social changes. On the one hand, the focus on sustainable methods and the overall climate consciousness has increased, while on the other, there is a growing market for organic products such as immunity-boosting tea, natural mosquito repellants and oil extracts, among others.
As a potent raw material for each of these product classes, lemongrass farmers around the world are witnessing a strengthening global market for their harvest and derived consumables. So much so, that farmers shifting to lemongrass cultivation are experiencing three to four folds increase in yearly income.
Incubated under the Aroma Mission and aligned with the ‘Grow Local, Think Global’ principle, Quanto Agro amassed INR 7 crores in initial investments, allocated to the development of the nation’s growing AgriTech sector. Within two years from its inception, the startup formed ties with over 1500 farmers, cultivating over 450 acres of land. Quanto Agro strives to be a holistic enterprise in its domain, and therefore, caters to a 360-degree upliftment of its beneficiaries—from soil testing to a native e-commerce platform – QuantoAgro.com, through infrastructural training, the startup touches almost every aspect of the farmer’s life, alongside enhancing their income and standard of living. E-commerce portals act as an important tool to connect rural farming products to urban consumers.
Mr Surendra Agarwal—Quanto Agro’s co-founder and a serial entrepreneur—says, “Around the world, lemongrass farming has helped hundreds of farmers in getting stable incomes and better living standards. Working with this realisation, our mission is to empower Indian farmers with training and provide them with resources such as seed, infrastructure, and technology. As a whole, this enables them to achieve greater productivity from their land.”
He further added, “Besides supporting the Government of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India, and Aroma Mission initiatives, we are strengthening the nation’s holistic efforts in productive and sustainable farming. After lemongrass, we plan to invest in the cultivation of Super Crops, aimed at mitigating India’s crisis of malnutrition.”