Govt to fund 112 agritech startups, to invest Rs 11.85 Cr this year, says Narendra Singh Tomar
To promote agri firms, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the Indian government will fund 112 startups in the first phase, with a sum of Rs 11.85 crore in the current financial year.
The funds will be given to the startups selected by different knowledge partners and agribusiness incubators in the area of agro-processing, food technology, and value addition, he said.
The funds will be provided under the Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme launched under the revamped Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
The funds will be released in instalments, and the selected startups have been trained for two months at 29 agribusiness incubation centres spread across India, Narendra Singh Tomar said in a statement.
These startups will lead to employment opportunities for youth. Besides, directly and indirectly, they will contribute to enhancing the income of farmers by providing opportunities to them, he added.
The Indian government has identified five knowledge partners as centres of excellence, and 24 RKVY-RAFTAAR agribusiness incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country after a nationwide advertisement and a rigorous selection process.
Emphasising on increasing private investment in agriculture, Tomar said his vision is to attract the youth to agriculture and rejuvenate the sector. He also stressed the need to make agriculture competitive, provide handholding to agriculture-based activities, and adopt new technology at the earliest.
Tomar also recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- earlier in the month while reviewing the progress of agriculture research, extension, and education in India -- had emphasised on promoting startups and agri-entrepreneurs to ensure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors.
Modi had also directed that hackathons may be organised twice a year to solve identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment, that can reduce drudgery in farming activity, the minister added.
Edited by Suman Singh