Encouragement to Agri-Startups in Rural Areas

July 22: The Government of India, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare (DA&FW) is implementing the “Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development” programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) from 2018-19 with an objective to promote innovation and agri-entrepreneurship by providing financial support and nurturing an incubation ecosystem in the country. This Department has appointed five Knowledge Partners (KPs) and twenty-four RKVY Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country for the incubation of startups and implementation of this programme.

Start-ups are trained and incubated at various Knowledge Partners (KPs) and RKVY Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) appointed under the programme across the country. Technical and financial assistance is provided to startups to launch their products, services, business platforms, etc into the market and facilitate them to scale up their products and operations to attain business viability.

Besides, KPs and R-ABIs are promoting these startups by linking them with various institutions and organizations for their product & technology validation, certification, etc. The government of India organizes various national-level programmes including agri-startup conclaves, agri fairs and exhibitions, webinars, and workshops to serve as a platform for the promotion of agri startups by linking them with various stakeholders.

Under the programme, financial support up to Rs. 5.00 lakh is provided at the idea/pre-seed stage and up to Rs. 25 lakhs at the seed stage. So far, a total of 1176 agri startups have been supported under the programme with financial assistance of Rs. 75.25 crores.

Besides, the Government of India has approved a proposal to set up an “Accelerator Fund” of Rs. 500 crores for five years commencing from 2023-24 to encourage young entrepreneurs to set up agri-startups. The accelerator fund will help to scale up the successful startups with innovative technologies having the potential of modernizing the agriculture ecosystem of the country. This initiative will also help the farmers by having value addition to the agricultural produces, better supply chain and market linkages etc and boost the agricultural economy in the rural areas of the country.

Under the Accelerator Fund programme, certain activities are planned like the development of institutional mechanisms and operational guidelines, identification of problem statements in agriculture & allied sectors, selection of agri-startups having high impact & innovative solutions, technical and financial support to encourage selected agri-startups and capacity building, etc during 2023-24.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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