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Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, GoI to set up accelerator programme of Rs 500 crore for promoting Agri Start-ups

Nov 02, 2022

  • Separate division of Agriculture Start-up will be created led by Joint Secretary specifically for Agri Start-ups
  • A cell will also be created to work as a single window agency to facilitate all the linkages required for Agri Start-ups

NEW DELHI, 02 November 2022: Mr Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State (Agriculture and Farmers Welfare), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Govt of India today said that soon an accelerator program of Rs 500 crore will be started to take forward the successful initiatives of Agri Start-ups in which DARE, DPIIT, Agri Incubators, agriculture universities, research institutes, investors and other stakeholders will be included.

Addressing the 5th edition of FICCI Agri Start-up Summit & Awards 2022, Mr Choudhary said that there will be a separate division of Agriculture Start-up to be set-up in the Ministry to be led by Joint Secretary. "A cell will also be created to work as a single window agency to facilitate all the linkages required for Agri Start-ups," he added.

Dr Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, GOI, emphasized that Increasing agriculture exports is a national imperative and Agri start-ups are potential partners in this journey. Efforts are being made to promote and support agri start-ups for engagement in agri exports and strengthening of the start-up ecosystem

Dr Neelam Patel, Senior Advisor (Agriculture & Allied Sectors), NITI Aayog said that Agri start-ups are taking pragmatic approach towards innovation that is solving farmer problems at ground level. She further added that now it's time to push throttle towards export orientation & build synergies with FPOs.

Mr TR Kesavan, Chair, FICCI Agriculture Committee and Group President, TAFE at FICCI Agri Start-up Summit & Awards said that Cutting-edge technology is changing the agriculture sector in India. The start-up ecosystem is creating a legacy which is expected to continue in generation alpha.

Mr. Hemendra Mathur, Chairman, FICCI Task Force on Agri Start-ups, highlighted that Start-ups can build innovative solutions around traceability, quality assaying and trade facilitation to boost India's food and agri exports.

Ms Vedika Kapoor, Head GA, South Asia, Corteva, speaking at FICCI's Agri Start up event said, sustainable innovation, soil health management and providing climate resilient technologies to farmers is vital. Sustainability is no more an option but a necessity, it has to be a collective responsibility of all.

U.S. Soy embraces sustainable agricultural practices to meet today's global need for soy products without compromising the ability for future needs to be met said Mr Jaison John, Team Lead -India at U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

Agriculture sector contributes 25% to overall GHG emissions. Going ahead, Agri startups need to focus on providing affordable and innovative solutions while reducing food wastages, improving Agri supply chain efficiency and minimising carbon footprints said Mr. Ashok Varma, Partner, PwC

Mr Pankaj K Dwivedi, Head of BD & Agronomy, Nurture.farm highlighted that the burden of sustaining food systems needs to be distributed instead of cantered on farmers. All the major stakeholders need to look for simple and implementable solutions said

FICCI-PwC Knowledge report 'AgTech: A smarter route to sustainable agriculture' was released during the event.

Key highlights of the FICCI PwC Knowledge report:

FICCI PwC Knowledge report emphasizes that the requirement of food is growing year on year however the land area producing the crops are more or less the same. World is going to face a challenge to ensuring food availability for approx. 9.73 billion people by 2050 while sustaining the environment at the same time. Solution to this lies in innovative and smart technological solutions for increasing crop production and maintaining ecological balance.

Secondly, the climate change poses a severe threat to crop yield and thus ensuring food security is going to be a challenge in future. Agriculture alone contributes to 25% of GHGs emissions and it becomes exigent to adopt and promote agricultural practices that ensure food security while conserving environment at the same time.

Report recommends a four pronged 'UDAI' approach for achieving sustainable agriculture through Agtech Startups 

  • Unique solutions for regenerative practices & natural solutions are imperative.
  • Developing transparency & traceability system is important for future agriculture
  • Adequate training & education to service providers & farmers is vital
  • Innovation through R&D and fostering networking culture needs to be promoted

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