In a major initiative, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across India have come together to form an HEI-led ‘Agri-Consortium’, initiated by IIM Kashipur. A basic framework in this regard was adopted by participating institutions (HEIs) during the ‘Agribusiness in South Asia’ Consortium 2023 organized by the Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (FIED), an incubation center of IIM Kashipur. in. Collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
The two-day Agri Consortium 2023 aims to create a common platform for academicians, researchers, students and industry professionals to share the latest trends, technological developments, research initiatives, funding opportunities and industry trends in the agriculture sector. Ideas and insights about needs can be exchanged.
During the consortium, the HEIs and the universities entered into a principle agreement outlining three key initiatives. First, they committed to sharing startup databases among consortium members, facilitating easy access to information and resources. Secondly, there was agreement to expand incubation and start-up support programmes, ensuring that budding agro-entrepreneurs receive the necessary guidance and support. Finally, a commitment was made to promote networking and sharing of best practices within the consortium, fostering a collaborative environment.
Prof. Kulbhushan Baloni, Director, IIM Kashipur, thanked all the participants for the successful conclusion of the ‘Agro Industrialization in South Asia’ Consortium 2023. A platform to disseminate information about agricultural start-ups in collaboration with higher education institutions from different regions of the country. He noted that this initiative will create opportunities for start-ups from diverse geographical locations to collaborate and help each other in bringing their innovative solutions to a wider audience of farmers.
In another notable development, the RKVY RAFTAAR scheme, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India, and facilitated by FIED, IIM Kashipur, has awarded ten start-up companies A total of Rs 1.6 crore financial assistance has been provided. These leading companies operate in diverse areas within the agricultural sector, including drone technology, agri supply chain, food processing, hydroponics, waste disposal, and agricultural biotechnology industries.
Prof. Mahfouz Batra, Associate Professor at IIM Kashipur and Director of FIED emphasized the broader objectives of this consortium. He said that through the consortium, they are creating a knowledge pool for the startup ecosystem, which aims to help various industries nurture important startups within the agriculture sector. Moreover, they planned to establish a knowledge bank specifically for failed start-ups in the agriculture industry. The aim was to gather insights into these failures and later share them with policy makers and the government to help shape beneficial policies.
About ten prominent HEIs including IGKV-Raipur, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, IVRI Bareilly, Pusa Krishi, New Delhi, GB Pant University, VCSJ Uttarakhand University of Forestry and Horticulture, Bharatarkhand, University and CCS. NIAM Jaipur has committed to formally collaborate within the Agri Consortium.
As the Agri Consortium takes root, it has the potential to bring significant positive change to India’s agriculture industry, benefiting both farmers and entrepreneurs alike.
First Published: 27 Sep 2023, 14:37 IST