Cisco, Social Alpha launch 'Krishi Mangal'; support 5 agritech startups with Rs 2 Cr grant

The pilots implemented by the startups over one year aim to positively impact 17,500 marginal farmers across Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh.
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Cisco, and Social Alpha, have announced five agritech startups to be part of 'Krishi Mangal', a scale-up accelerator programme to support startups working on solutions for smallholder farmers. The selected startups have developed innovations in agritech across supply chain traceability, powered by blockchain, data analytics for crop management, energy-efficient cold-storage units, sustainable aquaculture solutions, and ecommerce solutions for livestock management.

These five startups are focused on increasing incomes, creating jobs, and promoting micro-entrepreneurship, along agriculture and its allied value chain.

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TraceX Technologies organises food and agriculture supply chains using blockchain technology to enable transparency, trust, and traceability across the ecosystem. It will work with 1,000 farmers in Belgaum, Karnataka on the maize value chain, increasing their income by 25 percent.

 

Jalkeevika Infotech focuses on creating sustainable livelihood options by bringing accessibility and affordability in aquaculture. The startup will train 500 farmers in fisheries in pond management practices and deploy IoT sensors in Yavetmal, Maharashtra.

Pashu Bajaar is building a transparent, objective, and efficient livestock product market, and promoting micro-entrepreneurship for livestock farmers via ecommerce. The startup will train over 1,000 livestock farmers on commercial goat farming, credit planning, and livestock financial services in Lucknow, UP and Deoghar, Jharkhand.

Tan90 decentralises the cold chain for storage and transportation for last-mile delivery through their proprietary Phase Change Material based cold storage solutions. It will deploy its portable cold-storage boxes for fisheries in 11 districts of AP and Telangana; impacting 5,000 farmers. 

Satyukt provides farm-specific dynamic crop advisory and early warning of risks (flood, drought, pest, diseases) via a mobile application at an affordable cost for marginal farmers. It aims to work with 7,000 farmers in Karnataka, UP, Telangana, and Maharashtra to enable them to use the mobile app to increase crop yield in a sustainable manner.

Krishi Mangal follows a two-pronged approach. Along with the accelerator programme, it will also promote India’s digital agri collective that enables ecosystem-level collaboration and co-creation of solutions, while helping startups navigate the ecosystem and accelerate their work in the agriculture and allied sectors.

In Krishi Mangal's one-year scale-up accelerator, the five startups will each receive a grant of Rs 42.5 lakh to implement their solutions in a new geography or customer segment. Additionally, they will receive support in market access, sales and distribution, and fundraising. 

Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, Cisco India, said, 

"While the prize money will help accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technology, products, and services that drive economic development and solve social or environmental problems, engagement with Cisco mentors during the course of the programme will mean that organisations and entrepreneurs can leverage great domain expertise and strong market knowledge."

Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO, Social Alpha, added, 

"At Social Alpha, we have chosen to address these vulnerabilities and are constantly scouting for startups that are working on breakthrough technologies for large-scale impact. Social Alpha's partnership with Cisco will help us scale high-impact solutions to reduce risk and increase the income of smallholder farmers."

In the last five years, Social Alpha has nurtured over 25 agritech startups.

Edited by Kanishk Singh