Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said on Friday that in the current financial year, the government will finance 112 start-ups in the first step with a total of about ₹ 11.85 crore.
The funds will be distributed to start-ups chosen by various industry partners and agribusiness incubators in the fields of agro-processing, food technology and value addition, he said.
The funds will be given under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) Technology and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development Programme.
“In the first phase, 112 start-ups will be funded for a sum of ₹ 11.85 crore in the field of agro production , food technology and value adding,” Mr. Tomar said in a statement.
The funds will be released in instalments, and the selected startups have been trained in 29 agribusiness incubation centers across India for two months, he said.
These start-ups would offer the young people job opportunities. In addition, they would contribute directly and indirectly to boosting farmers ‘ incomes by creating incentives for them, he added.
After a nationwide advertising and comprehensive selection process, the government has appointed five information partners as centers of excellence and 24 RKVY-RAFTAAR agribusiness incubators (R-ABIs) from across the world.
Emphasizing increased private investment in agriculture, Mr. Tomar said that his dream is to draw young people to farming and to rejuvenate the industry.
He also stressed the need to make agriculture competitive, provide farm-based practices with handholding and introduce new technologies at the earliest opportunity.
Tomar also recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi – reviewing the development of agricultural science, extension and education in India earlier this month – had stressed fostering start-ups and agri-entrepreneurs to ensure innovation and technology use in agriculture and related sectors.
Mr. Modi also directed that hackathons should be organized twice a year to solve defined problems and meet the design needs of tools and equipment that could minimize drudgery in farming activities, the minister added.