India’s farmers are channeling into a growing consciousness of adopting scientific and clean farming techniques to grow superior quality fruit and vegetables. To strengthen the greenhouse farming techniques with the best advisory, the leading agritech startup- Clover has been providing agronomy services for their greenhouse farmers to provide them with structural market access. Over 60 greenhouse farmers with over 70+ acres of farms have benefitted from Clover’s agronomy service and have seen their yield increase up to 4 times. This service is a part of Clover’s business model aiming to improve the per acre yield from the farmer’s landholding, improving farmer income while providing consistent access to high-quality fruit and vegetables to Clover’s consumers in Bangalore and Hyderabad.
One of the biggest issues facing the agricultural sector in India is low yield. India’s farm yield is 30 to 50% lower than that of developed nations. Aside from low average farm size, lower access to credit, and poor infrastructure, farmers face the added burden of poor access to scientific knowledge on high yield yet clean farming techniques, a decrease in soil fertility due to over-fertilization and sustained pesticide use, lack of awareness on changing consumer taste and consumption preferences.
Clover’s in-house agronomists team works closely with the farmers as a ‘one-stop solution’ for guidance from the “seed to harvest” stage of farming. Agronomists provide them with detailed and meticulous information about the demand from the market, crop to be grown, quality of seed selection, fertilizer management, insect and disease management, water management, harvesting, and storage. Clover’s agronomy team also supports farmers with nutrient deficiency data that help determine the nutritional needs of the plant at different stages.
Clover guides farmers on greenhouse farming methods, including proper use of ventilation, lighting control, pest management, which results in significant yield improvement, reduced cost of cultivation, and improvement in the percentage of first grade produce.
This extensive and holistic agronomy support has improved first-grade fruits by more than 25%, reduced input costs like nutrient and crop medicine. The farmers have been guided to use proper nutrients at the right stage.
Avinash BR, chief executive officer and co-founder of Clover, said, “With Clover’s agronomy services we ensure higher yields and productivity for the farmer. A Clover network farmer has the enviable privilege of being able to sell all his produce to us. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen farmers increase their yield anywhere from 4 times compared to the times without Clover’s agronomy intervention. The added benefit is also lesser wastage due to committed market access.”
Farmers face the inability to sell their produce at a price they want because of this sector’s overall traditional approach. Clover Ventures is working towards this and many such issues to empower farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices and improve productivity and income. Clover partners with small farm holders and sells premium quality, greenhouse-grown fresh produce — spinach, coriander, lettuce, basil, cucumbers, beans, cauliflower — through B2C channels. Clover is currently managing over 70 acres of farms and intends to scale this manifold over the coming months.