In order to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, the government is launching a new AGRI UDAAN program that will mentor start-ups and help them connect with potential investors. This initiative will guide the agricultural startups from different corners of the country and connect them with potential investors.
Managed by India’s premier farm research body, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the food and agri-business accelerator program to be launched on Friday will also help convert innovative ideas from India’s rural youth into viable businesses.
Commenting on the development, Narendra Singh Rathore, deputy director general of agricultural education at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR),” The idea is to attract the youth from rural India and elsewhere, and train them so they can add value to the farmers’ produce.”
About 40 startups will be shortlisted and out which 8-12 will be selected for final capacity building workshop, he added. The shortlisted candidates will get six-month training on different aspects of technology commercialization, product validation, business plan preparation, risk analysis, customer engagement, finance management, fund raising and others.
The program will culminate with demo day or investors meet at Hyderabad and Mumbai. To reach out to agri-entrepreneurs, ICAR-NAARM has decided to organize road shows in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
In the pre-launch phase of the program that started two years ago in 2015, ICAR’s National Academy of Agricultural Research Management incubated several new startups which are now into developing smart irrigation systems, processing exotic grains, and manufacturing kinetic farm machines.
The entrepreneurs will get to spend 6 months at the ICAR-NAARM’s Hyderabad campus where they will be trained in different aspects of technology commercialization, product validation, business plan preparation and fund raising, among other things. The accelerator program is funded mainly through the Department of Science and Technology.
This initiative of the government is in association with Caspian Impact Investments, Yes Bank, NCDEX eMarkets Ltd (NeML) and Marico Innovation Foundation. Also, National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Agrinnovate, and FICCI are associated with the initiative. Read more about Indian Startup Ecosystem.