Sukirti, a voracious reader of fiction, who also has an avidity to give her thoughts the shape of words, is a graduate in agriculture. Apart from being a devotee of words, she loves to express herself through dance. She enjoys writing about environmental issues such as climate change and sustainable agriculture.

Agriculture, although being the oldest occupation, still does not generate adequate returns, and for many, it is not yet profitable. Famines in India in the 1960s and 1970s caused a lack of food grains and milk, forcing food imports. Following that, agricultural was given a boost under the Five Year Plans that led to the Green Revolution. Irrigation has already been installed on about half of the entire 218 million hectares available for agricultural. Farm returns, however, have remained low for the past 75 years, despite the country’s independence.

Source: Outlook Poshan

It’s time for agricultural science graduates to become self-sufficient by establishing agri-businesses.

Crop cultivation is not the only aspect of agricultural start-ups. There are several byproducts and related industries that can be developed. Maize can be used to make over 250 byproducts, while soya can be used to make over 100. Several start-ups can be established because both of these crops are key crops in the region.

The lack of capital for start-ups could be solved through incubation centers’ CSR funding. There are many schemes which can help you set up your own start-up. Let’s take a look:

ACABC (AgriClinics & AgriBusiness Centres)

Source: Agripreneur
  • In collaboration with NABARD, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare of the Government of India has developed a unique campaign to provide better agricultural methods to every farmer in the country.
  • The goal of this program is to tap into the expertise of the enormous pool of Agriculture Graduates. Whether you are a recent graduate or not, whether you are employed or not, you can open your own AgriClinic or AgriBusiness Centre and provide professional extension services to a large number of farmers.
  • The government is committed to this program and is now offering start-up training to graduates in agriculture or related fields such as horticulture, sericulture, veterinary sciences, forestry, dairy, poultry farming, and fisheries, among others.
  • Those who complete the training can apply for special venture start-up loans.

MSME Prerana

Source: YouTube
  • ‘MSME Prerna,’ an online business mentorship program, aims to empower entrepreneurs by providing skill development and capacity building courses in the native languages of several Indian states.
  • The initiative is collaboration between the Indian Bank and Poornatha & Co, a firm that creates vernacular language entrepreneurship development programs. This 12-session effort seeks to help entrepreneurs improve their financial and managerial abilities, as well as their understanding of credit rating and risk management dynamics.
  • Poornatha & Co. will handle the courses on managerial and financial abilities, while faculty from the Indian Bank will handle the banking-related issues.
  • All participants will receive certificates from Indian Bank, Poornatha & Co, and MADE (Michigan Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs) in the United States once the program is completed. One can only hope that this one-of-a-kind endeavour would inspire others to take similar steps to help the sector.

Jawahar R-abi
  • Agri-business incubator is a facility that provides services such as management training, office space, and mentoring to fledgling and startup Agro-based entrepreneurs.
  • The Institute of Agri-business Management, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India, has conceptualized and established JAWAHAR-R-ABI as a business incubators Center for Agri-Startups with the goal of promoting innovation-led entrepreneurship and business creation in agriculture and allied sectors through skill development, capacity building, and technology scale-up.
  • This program is designed to help Innovation stage agri-entrepreneurs and startups with a minimum viable product (MVP) scale up their businesses through a network of technical and business experts, industry, government partners, financial partners, training with agri-sector commercialization experts, and a large mentor network.

Author’s Thoughts

Despite the fact that the country produced 305 million tonnes of food grains, it lacked the necessary storage facilities, and as a result, tonnes of food grains were lost each year. While the onset of Covid-19 early last year disrupted several industries, the agritech sector has proved to be surprisingly resilient.

Strong tailwinds created by restrictions on movement, labor migration, and growing consumer health awareness have aided in the adoption of technology across the farming ecosystem. Furthermore, the designation of agricultural items as critical commodities insured that most players were able to continue doing business during the lockdown. It’s high time that young people should setting up agri start-ups and become self-reliant.

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