The Union Government accords very high priority to the agriculture sector. In order to contribute directly and indirectly to enhancing the income of farmers by providing opportunites to them and to provide employment to youth, start-ups are being encouraged. Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj lNarendra Singh Tomar stated that as emphasised by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, new technology in the field of agriculture and allied sectors through start-ups and agripreneurship should be promoted. Therefore, under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, the innovation and agripreneurship component has been promoted. For the year 2020-21, in the first phase, 112 startups in the area of agro processing, food technology and value addition will be funded for a sum of Rs. 1185.90 lakhs which will contribute to enhancing the income of farmers. This fund will be released in instalments.
Tomar stated that earlier in the month while reviewing the progress of agriculture research, extension and education in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that start-ups and agri-enterpreneurs need to be promoted to ensure innovation and use of technology in agriculture and allied sectors. He had highlighted the need to leverage information technology to provide information on demand to the farmers. The Prime Minister exhorted that traditional knowledge of Indian communities should be coupled with technology and skill sets of youth and agriculture graduates to translate the full potential of Indian agriculture in transforming rural areas. He also directed that hackathons may be organized twice a year to solve identified problems and meet design needs for tools and equipment that can reduce drudgery in farming activity.
The Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister also stressed on the need to make agriculture competitive, provide handholding to agriculture-based activities and adopt new technology at the earliest. Emphasizing on increasing private investment in the field of agriculture, Tomar has drawn attention to the need for value addition and start-ups. His vision is to attract youth to agriculture and rejuvenate the sector. In keeping with these initiatives of the Government of India to boost agriculture and allied activities and give an impetus to the rural economy, the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) which aims at strengthening infrastructure in agriculture and allied areas, has been revamped. Under the revamped scheme, a component Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development programme has been launched in order to promote innovation and agripreneurship & startups by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem. DAC&FW has selected 5 Knowledge Partners (KPs) as Centres of Excellence and 24 RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country after a nation-wide advertisement and a rigorous selection process. 112 Startups selected by different knowledge partners and agribusiness incubators in the area of Agro-processing, Food Technology and Value addition will be funded in the first phase for a sum of Rs. 1185.90 lakh. This fund will be released in instalments. These start-ups were trained for two months at 29 agribusiness incubation centres (KPs & RABIs) spread across India. These start-ups will lead to employment to youth. Besides, they, directly and indirectly, will contribute to enhancing the income of farmers by providing opportunities to them.