To promote Agri firms, Union Minister for Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said the Indian government will fund 112 startups within the first phase, with a sum of Rs 11.85 crore within the current fiscal year.
The funds are going to be given to the startups selected by different knowledge partners and agribusiness incubators within the area of agro-processing, food technology, and value addition, he said.
These funds are going to be provided under the Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme launched under the revamped Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
The funds are going to be released in installments, and therefore the selected startups are trained for 2 months at 29 agribusiness incubation centers spread across India, Narendra Singh Tomar said during a statement.
These startups will cause employment opportunities for youth. Besides, directly and indirectly, they’re going to contribute to enhancing the income of farmers by providing opportunities to them, he added.
The Indian government has identified five knowledge partners as centers of excellence, and 24 RKVY-RAFTAAR agribusiness incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country after a nationwide advertisement and a rigorous selection process.
Emphasizing on increasing private investment in agriculture, Tomar said his vision is to draw in the youth to agriculture and rejuvenate the world. He also stressed the necessity to form agriculture competitive, provide handholding to agriculture-based activities, and adopt new technology at the earliest.
Tomar also recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier within the month while reviewing the progress of agriculture research, extension, and education in India — had emphasized promoting startups and agri-entrepreneurs to make sure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors.
Modi had also directed that hackathons could also be organized twice a year to unravel identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment, which will reduce drudgery in farming activity, the minister added.
(With inputs from YourStory)