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Mahindra & Mahindra to invest & collaborate with startups in agricultural sector

Mahindra & Mahindra with a plan to multiply its revenue ten times to Rs 10,000 crore in five to seven years, has begun discussions for investing in and collaborating with startups in the agricultural sector to eliminate traders and have direct access to customers and farmers.

“We are in touch with startups in the agri space. If we like some ideas we can partner them or buy equity or buyout a company,” said Ashok Sharma, president and chief executive of Agri, Africa and South Asia operations, Mahindra group.

“This (disruption) is going to create new opportunities, business models; new players will come in the market.” The company, which sells seeds, irrigation products, fertilisers and fruits, is keen to develop technology which will help farmers buy and sell directly online, seek online advisory services and cut harvest losses aggravated due to multiple middlemen.

The company believes that with the help of technology and Internet, India’s oldest and most politically sensitive sector is poised for disruption and the unorganised sector will slowly but surely get more organised in the coming years, in turn increasing the group’s sales and reach to farmers.