Jindal Stainless Ltd. has formed the collaboration with the Japanese company Future Venture Capital Company Ltd. (FVCCL) to launch an incubation centre for agritech startups in India.
The announcement was made at the ‘Krisi Unnati’ event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Bhubaneswar. Reportedly, the deal agreement has already been signed and around 5-10 startups will be selected for incubation.
Led by Ratan Jindal, Jindal Stainless is the largest integrated stainless steel manufacturing company in India. As per Wikipedia, Jindal Stainless ranks eighth in the world and has its manufacturing plants in Hisar and Jajpur (Odisha).
The incubation centre will also have a coworking space along with an international standard laboratory. The selected agritech startups will get an opportunity to network with Japanese companies via an intensive programme led by experienced mentors.
As shared by Abhyuday Jindal, Vice Chairman of Jindal Stainless Ltd, the coworking space for the incubation centre will be located at Jindal Stainless’ office complex at Gurugram and alongside their office at Bhubaneswar and laboratories across intervention areas.
He further added, “With their (FVCCL’s) experience in the area of supporting agritech startups, I am confident that farmers will increase their incomes through a concerted effort of market-led production and resilience enhancement. Such collaboration will lead to a positive social impact on communities and contribute towards inclusive growth and development.”
Jindal also suggested the four progress stages of farmer outcomes. This includes – strengthening existing value change, shifting to higher value crops, diversifying income sources and conserving and managing natural resources.
“We have come up with an initiative to work with the farmers and to see how we can improve the farmers in the next five years”, said Rajiv Williams, Corporate Head (CSR) of Jindal Stainless Corporate Management Service Pvt Ltd.
Agricultural Production Commissioner Gagan Kumar Dhal further added that Odisha is the second state of the country which prepares a special agriculture budget. For the current financial year, the state has increased its irrigation budget from $311 Mn (INR 2,000 Cr) to $1.08 Bn (INR 7000 Cr).
Agritech In India: Other Initiatives And Funding
Earlier in May, in order to fuel the growth of innovative ideas in the agritech sector, Karnataka’s agriculture department had set aside about $1.5 Mn (INR 10 Cr) fund to be administered by the information technology and biotechnology (ITBT) department.
Recently, agritech startup Utkal Tubers raised $4.6 Mn (INR 30 Cr) from CapAleph Indian Millennium SME Fund and Zephyr Peacock India Fund. Zephyr Peacock is the India-focussed PE fund of US-based Zephyr Management.
Other firms actively investing in the food agriculture and agritech space includes SEAF India, Omnivore Capital, Rabo Equity, DSG Consumer Partners, and Aspada. In April 2017, Chennai-based
In April 2017, Chennai-based fresh produce distribution startup WayCool secured $2.7 Mn from early-stage venture capital firm Aspada Investments. Pune-based agritech startup AgroStar, an m-commerce platform for agriculture, raised $10 Mn Series B funding led by Accel India in March this year.
(The development was earlier reported by Business Standard.)