INDIA – Seattle headquartered e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc., is investing in the modernization of India’s outmoded agricultural sector in an effort to improve yields and woo farmers into its platform.
Amazon has already begun offering real-time advice and information through a dedicated mobile app to help farmers make decisions on crops and even deploy machine learning technology.
The program — which Amazon dubs Reactive and Proactive Crop plans — promises to provide growers with cutting-edge technology and insights.
Farmers enrolled in the app have access to alerts and addresses on soil, pests, weather, disease, and other crop-related queries, helping modernize their operations and improve their yields.
The app can also supply machine learning algorithms to detect defects in fruits and vegetables. Amazon has also pledged to help farmers sort, grade, and pack produce for transport to Amazon Fresh fulfillment centers.
By investing in agricultural modernization, Amazon hopes to woo farmers on its platform which is critical as a steady stream of fruit, vegetables and other groceries is considered key to dominating Indian online commerce.
“Unless Amazon, Walmart, Reliance and others crack the farm supply chain, they cannot unlock big growth in e-commerce,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman of retail consultancy, Technopak Advisors Pvt.
“Gaining goodwill at the grassroots level by building a strong relationship with farmers will help them get predictable, quality produce all round the year at stable prices.”
Amazon is the latest corporate giant hoping to tap India’s US$750 billion fruit and vegetable market, joining Reliance Industries Ltd., Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart and the Tata Group, which recently acquired online grocer Bigbasket.
Amazon to hire 8,000 people across India
Meanwhile, an Amazon official has revealed that the e-commerce giant plans to hire more than 8,000 direct workforce additions across 35 cities in India this year.
Amazon HR Leader – Corporate, APAC, and MENA Deepti Varma told PTI that the company will be seeking to fill various roles including corporate, technology, customer service and operations roles.
The company further aims for 20,000 job openings, both direct and indirect, by 2025, and has already created 10 lakh direct and indirect jobs in India, according to Varma.
India is the second-largest technology hub for Amazon with Indian talent innovating for not just India, but also globally.
As a result, Amazon’s workforce in India has ballooned during the pandemic as more people stayed home and ordered essentials from the shopping site, despite other companies having to lay off workers.
3,000 people are estimated to have gained employment at Amazon during the pandemic. The tally according to Varma includes both direct and indirect roles.
With e-commerce growing prominence post-covid, Amazon is going on another hiring spree with plans to hire 55,000 people around the world, a majority of which will be in the US.
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