Higher educational institutes (HEIs) in the country have agreed to form an ‘Agri Consortium,’ a move started by IIM Kashipur.
Participating HEIs recently adopted an in-principle framework in this regard at the ‘Agri-Entrepreneurship in South Asia Consortium-2023’ conference organized by the Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (FIED), an incubation center of IIM Kashipur, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
According to a media release, the ‘Agri Consortium 2023’ aims to provide a common platform for academicians, researchers, students, and industry professionals to interact and deliberate on the latest trends and advancements in agriculture technology, research, funding avenues, and industry requirements.
HEIs entered a principled agreement in three steps: sharing start-up databases among consortium members, disseminating incubation or start-up support programs, and networking and sharing best practices on the platform.
According to Kulbhushan Balooni, Director of IIM-Kashipur, the ‘Agri Consortium’ will be a platform for sharing information on agri-startups supported by member HEIs from across the country. This opens up opportunities for collaboration between start-ups from different geographies, allowing them to help each other bring their innovative solutions to a large number of farmers, according to Balooni.
“Through this consortium, we are building a knowledge pool for the start-up ecosystem so that we can extend our support to various industries in developing significant startups within the agriculture sector,” said Safal Batra, Associate Professor at IIM-Kashipur and Director of FIED. In addition, we plan to create a knowledge bank for failed agricultural start-ups to provide insights into their failures. These insights will be shared with policymakers and the government to help them craft policies that will benefit them.”
It said that HEIs including IGKV-Raipur, CCS Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, IVRI Bareilly, Pusa Krishi, New Delhi, GB Pant University, VCSJ Uttarakhand University of Forestry and Horticulture, Bharsar, Uttarakhand, and CCS NIAM, Jaipur, and IIM Kashipur had agreed to collaborate.
In another development, the RKVY RAFTAAR (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation) scheme provided funding to ten start-ups worth Rs. 1.60 crore. Drone technology, agri supply chain, food processing, hydroponics, waste to wealth, and agri biotechnology are among the industries represented by these start-ups.