Amazon, Microsoft swoop in on $24 billion deposit of farm-data in India

With the project, Modi is seeking to usher in long-due reforms to make over a farm sector that employs almost half of the nation’s 1.3 billion people and contributes about a fifth of Asia’s third-biggest economy.

For global firms, it’s a stab at India’s agritech industry, which Ernst & Young estimates to have the potential to reach about $24 billion in revenue by 2025, with the current penetration being only 1%. It’s also a chance to deploy networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning in a developing country, while for e-commerce firms such as Amazon and Reliance, securing a steady stream of farm produce could help crack a groceries market that accounts for more than half of the $1 trillion in annual retail spending by Indians.

“With this data they will know where the produce wasn’t good, and will buy cheap from farmers there and sell it at exorbitant prices elsewhere,” said Sukhwinder Singh Sabhra, a farmer from the northern state of Punjab, who has been protesting since November against the new farm laws.

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