Agriculture employs more than 65% of Nepal’s population. If you want to impact the lives of a large number of people at once, agriculture should be your prime choice. Most people still resort to the traditional way of farming, agriculture startups in Nepal can help in bringing automation and technology in the process.
Entrepreneurship strives where there are problems to solve. If things are working just fine in a sector, it is very hard to innovate and compete in such sectors. Consequently, the Agriculture sector in Nepal is a mess right now and therefore the prospect for Agriculture/Agri-tech startups is relatively higher.
The easier and ideal way of getting into agriculture sector is to produce goods that we have the capability to produce but still import from India like oil, cereal even vegetables or getting into organic farming. We do need such startups enormously. Having said that, there are other areas in agriculture sector like farmer’s training and education and tech innovations that too need our attention.
Problems to be solved by agriculture startups in Nepal
This blog will be sharing a few ideas and problems for the agriculture industry in Nepal to get those innovative and creative juices in your mind flowing and you can come up with your own idea. The first step towards approaching an idea is diving deep into the problem that you want to solve. Now, since there are multiple problems in this sector, you could either pink one or choose the ones you can solve collectively.
If you want to solve the problem of supply-chain for the farmers since they do not get fair prices for their produce in the local market and most of the produce is wasted by the time it reaches the market, you could design a startup that will take the produce from the farmer, make payment in advance, take it safely to the market and then decide whether you want a B2B model or a B2C model. In B2C model, You could open dedicated stores for fresh produce or partner with stores or local market vendors for a B2B model whatever seems fit to you.
The Demand for manure(mal) required to carry out existing agricultural activities is not fully utilized. This as well as the demand for organic farming increases the prospects for agri startups in Nepal. Making a great quality pesticide product and branding it well could be a very successful venture. You will have to compete with the local pesticides that are in use in the market currently and make sure you keep the price affordable since farmers are heavily price conscious target audience.
Dairy and livestock farming also has a lot of potential in Nepal since both of these markets are unorganized. Aspiring entrepreneurs can look for the problems dairy farmers or livestock farmers or even vendors or customers are facing from quality of products to supply-chain and build a business model around it.
For people wanting to get into agri-tech business in Nepal, There are no companies using the powers that AI and IOT. You can 100% get into this business. There are many companies using these technologies in the world for checking and improving the quality of produce. However, given lower literacy of farmers in Nepal, they might have low tech-adaptibility so you will have to work your way around it.
Next up, is renting machines. In Nepal, small farmers have small amounts of land and it is difficult for them to purchase necessary machines and tools required for farming. You can rent or lease those machines to farmers on a real time-basis and it will make things so much easier for them and you can generate revenues as soon as you break even with the machinery price. Although this should be done by the government of Nepal for the poor farmers but since our government has better things to do like corruption and deciding where Lord Ram was born, I guess we youngsters can take a hold of farming process and make things little easy for poor farmers.
The livelihoods of more than 13 million Nepalese are dependent on farming small terraced plots in remote hilly and mountainous regions where crop yields are low and food insecurity is high.
An agriculture startup in Nepal that come with Innovation in the area of Terrace Farming can impact the lives of all these people and the coming generations also while taking the whole market with a storm. This is the biggest opportunity in agriculture industry in Nepal and this should be among our prime focus. You can start by studying what is being done by other countries in this respect.
Last one is my personal favourite. You could start a one-stop solution business that will provide 24*7 services to farmers at 360 coverage from farmers education, providing regular weather updates, crop insurance, necessary supplies like pesticides, seeds, machines, etc. It is difficult to scale up this directly and will require a lot of capital and brainstorming and won’t be feasible but what I will suggest is start with one or two services and then create an all rounder agri brand as a one stop solution to farmers for anything they might need like a 24*7 farmers helpline number.
Now, you must have realized that the prospects for agriculture startups in Nepal is very high. You can look at Nepal Thopa Sinchai as an inspiration for starting up in Agriculture sector as they are doing a fantastic job. One thing you have to keep in mind is that these are not startup ideas, these are things you could look into if you want to get into agri-based entrepreneurship. You will have to get into the market understand the problems and then design a product or service for their use. There are no shortcuts in entrepreneurship, You are always supposed to take the high road. Be absolutely sure to be a social entrepreneur and affect people’s lives socially and not just economically. Read here, how?
If you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, make sure you validate your idea well to avoid failures.