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Agriculture Ministry to Set Up Accelerator Programme of Rs 500 Cr for Promoting Agri Start-ups


The eminent personalities present at the 5th Edition of FICCI Agri Start-up Summit & Awards
The eminent personalities present at the 5th Edition of FICCI Agri Start-up Summit & Awards

Mr Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers WelfareGovt of India on November 2 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.

Speaking at the 5th FICCI Agri Start-up Summit & Awards in 2022, Mr. Choudhary said that the Ministry will create a new section of Agriculture Start-up, which will be headed by a Joint Secretary. He continued, “A cell will also be created to function as a one window agency to enable all the links necessary for Agri Start-ups.

Dr. Sudhanshu, Secretary, APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industries, GOI, emphasized that Agri start-ups are viable partners in this attempt and that increasing farm exports is a national imperative. Agro start-ups are being encouraged and supported in order to participate in agri exports and enhance the start-up ecosystem.

According to Dr. Neelam Patel, Senior Advisor (Agriculture & Allied Sectors), NITI Aayog, agri start-ups are using a practical approach to innovation to address farmer problems locally. She continued by saying that it was now time to accelerate the move toward export orientation and create synergies with FPOs.

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 that is expected to continue in generation alpha.

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

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 are 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 Jaison John, Team Lead -India at U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).

“The agricultural 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 minimizing carbon footprints,” said Ashok Varma, Partner, PwC.

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 for food is growing year on year however the land area producing the crops is more or less the same. The world is going to face a challenge in ensuring food availability for approx. 9.73 billion people by 2050 while sustaining the environment at the same time. The solution to this lies in innovative and smart technological solutions for increasing crop production and maintaining ecological balance.

Secondly, climate change poses a severe threat to crop yield and thus ensuring food security is going to be a challenge in the 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 the environment at the same time.

The report recommends a four-pronged ‘UDAI’ approach for achieving sustainable agriculture through Agtech Startups 

Unique solutions for regenerative practices & natural solutions are imperative.

Developing a transparency & traceability system is important for future agriculture

Adequate training & education for service providers & farmers is vital

Innovation through R&D and fostering a networking culture needs to be promoted

First published on: 03 Nov 2022, 10:18 IST


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