In the upcoming Budget, the agri-tech and aquaculture sectors have asked for incentives for research and development, as well as the inclusion of formal finance and insurance in aquaculture. The agritech sector also sought government assistance in the form of tax breaks and eligibility requirements in order to accelerate the sector’s growth.
According to Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, CEO and Founder of AgNext Technologies, ‘2021 was a decent year for the agritech sector, which thrived with strong investments and greater market adoption of technologies.’
To sustain this momentum, a laser-like focus on the development of the budding agritech ecosystem is critical. ‘We hope that the forthcoming budget will prioritize agricultural R&D incentivization, as well as provide supportive motivation to allow agritech businesses, especially start-ups, to scale domestically at a faster rate.’
‘To encourage more innovation in the sector, the agritech ecosystem also requires a focus on infrastructure development and governance frameworks. Fiscal considerations may be advantageous in facilitating the growth of India’s agritech sector in 2022.’
The aquaculture industry believes that the inclusion of formal finance and insurance in aquaculture is critical to meeting the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) goals.
‘The PMMSY has shown some great results since its implementation,’ said Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder & CEO of Aquaconnect. We anticipate a greater push to promote digital solutions across the value chain, from pre-production to post-harvest, to bring predictability, efficiency, and traceability to the Blue Revolution 2.0. Incentivizing farmers with better subsidies to adopt data-driven farming, farm monitoring, and automation tools will eventually ease and accelerate wider tech adoption and drive farmers’ transition to modern farming systems with higher productivity.
Because high insurance premiums discourage farmers from seeking risk mitigation for their crops, subsidizing insurance premiums will greatly assist fish and shrimp farmers in minimizing production risks and lowering production costs. Increasing the fisheries KCC (Kisan Credit Card) limit from the current range will also help farmers meet all of their farming expenses, he added.
According to Amit Sinha, Co-Founder of Unnati ‘To accelerate the sector’s progress and transform agriculture into a robust, tech-led sector, the government will need to provide assistance in the form of tax breaks, eligibility criteria, and so on. Additional focus areas could include allocating funds for increased digitalization in the agricultural ecosystem, encouraging collaboration between district governments and Agritech startups to bring innovative solutions to the farmers’ market, and providing subsidies or tax breaks to farmers who choose Agritech products. Easy access to capital, tax relief, and interest subsidies to encourage FPO formation will allow the agritech industry to grow quickly and will aid FPOs in gaining traction in this new era.’