The government’s agriculture research body, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), on Friday (December 13), announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to enhance research and scale-up agritech innovations in the country.
Through this collaboration, both ICAR and NABARD will be promoting sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming technologies. It will also be facilitating research work and boost various technologies and innovative farming models developed by ICAR, including climate-resilient techniques, crop intensification, integrated farming, post-harvest technologies and high-tech agriculture practices among others.
Trilochan Mohapatra, the secretary of the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE) and director-general of ICAR, in a press statement, said that this will provide financial support to millennial entrepreneurs in the agritech space. It will also help farmers to offer both, qualitative and quantitative produce in the country, he added.
Moreover, ICAR will help NABARD in evaluating projects, including detailed project report (DPR) preparation for climate change, farm mechanisation, agri-incubation centres and resource conservation among others. With its large network, ICAR will be supporting the training and capacity building of channel partners and NABARD officers.
Shri Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, the chairman of NABARD highlighted the need for technological empowerment of women farmers in India.
ICAR’s Agitech Startup Exchange Programme
Earlier this week, the Delhi-based Pusa Krishi incubator, the agri-focussed incubation centre of ICAR launched Maitri 2019 programme, an Indo-Brazil agritech cross-border incubation programme.
Under this initiative, ten startups were selected, both from Brazil and India, where the selected startups would get access to the global market through mutual benefits and shared collaboration.
Agriculture in India is a $400 Bn industry, and there are more than 1,090 agritech startups in India. According to DataLabs by Inc42, the total funding in agritech startups in India grew from $46.1 Mn in 2017 to $66.6 Mn in 2018. As per NASSCOM report, India’s agritech sector has received more than $248 Mn funding as of June 2019, scaling up almost 300% as compared to 2018.