Agri-tech start-ups critical to India’s future economy: Dr Jitendra Singh

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Union Minister of State (IC) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (IC) Ministry of Earth Sciences; The Ministry of Health in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Personnel, Public Claims and Pensions, said Dr Jitendra Singh: “Agri-tech start-ups are critical for India’s future economy.

Addressing a conclave with exhibition on agri-tech and food technology in the royal city of Mysuru, Dr Jitendra Singh said that a new wave of agri-tech startups has emerged in India over the past few years due to a favorable political environment. provided by the Modi government to address problems in Indian agriculture such as supply chain management, use of outdated equipment, inadequate infrastructure and farmers’ inability to easily access a wider range of markets. The Minister noted with satisfaction that young entrepreneurs are now leaving their jobs in IT sectors and multinationals to create their own startups and these young entrepreneurs are now beginning to realize the fact that investing in agriculture is one of the very few safe and profitable companies.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, “Agritech startups offer innovative ideas and affordable solutions to a number of challenges faced along the agricultural value chain and this has the potential to change the face of the Indian agricultural sector and eventually increase farmers’ incomes. He said these budding startups and entrepreneurs have become the missing link between farmers, input dealers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers, connecting them to each other and providing strong business links and quality products. quality on time.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the third edition of “TechBharat” themed “Transforming India’s FoodTech, AgriTech & Agronomic landscape” is timely as agriculture is one of the important pillars of the economy Indian since 54% of the Indian population depends directly on agriculture and it represents about 19(21) percent of the GDP. He said that although agriculture in India has seen steady growth over the past few years, little has been done to encourage young, fresh and unique innovative ideas in the sector.

Dr. Jitendra Singh strongly advocated the use of modern and new technologies in the agricultural sector and pointed out that countries like Israel, China and the United States have transformed several agricultural practices in their countries through the use of technology. He said these countries have demonstrated that an assortment of technologies such as hybrid seeds, precision farming, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, geolocation and satellite monitoring, mobile apps and Farm management software can be applied to every stage of the farming process to increase productivity. and farm income.

Dr. Jitendra Singh informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 100 Made in India agricultural drones across the country in February this year which carried out agricultural operations in unique simultaneous flights. He also referred to budget speech by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in which she said the use of “Kisan drones” will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of records land, spraying with insecticides and nutrients. The minister added that drones can also be used to assess the health of any vegetation or crop, areas of the field inflicted by weeds, infections and pests and based on this assessment, the exact amounts of chemicals. necessary to control these infestations can be applied, thus optimizing the overall cost for the farmer.

Dr. Jitendra Singh pointed out that India’s agricultural space holds huge potential for technology adoption given the size of the population involved there. According to him, AgriTech is nothing but the application of modern technologies to the agricultural sector with a view to improving products, efficiency and incomes. The concept extends to all applications, practices, products and services that improve any aspect of the agricultural process, whether it is an input function or the received output, he said. added.

The minister said that many agri-tech startups in India are mainly in the segment of the market where e-commerce companies provide fresh and organic fruits and vegetables purchased directly from farmers, but recently many startups have been offering innovative and sustainable solutions to farmers’ problems. He said startups are now providing solutions such as biogas plants, solar-powered cold stores, fencing and water pumps, weather forecasting, sprayers, seeders and vertical farming, which is sure to come. increase farmers’ incomes.

In his closing remarks, Dr Jitendra Singh said he was rather optimistic that the upsurge in internet usage, increasing smartphone penetration, emergence of startups and various government initiatives in rural areas facilitate the rapid adoption of technologies in the agricultural sector. He said the technological solutions for most problems in agriculture are present, but the challenge is that these solutions reach every farmer on a larger scale and not just one farmer. Now is the time for us to embrace the technology in this crucial sector of our economy and at a large scale, so that agriculture and the farming community will benefit and in turn, the Indian economy will also grow rapidly, added The Minister.

Dr GR Chintala, Chairman, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Dr Sridevi Annapurna Singh; Director, CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, Shri Mahesh Shenoy, President, Laghu Udyog Bharati- Mysuru Vibhag, Shri Rajappa, Secretary, Laghu Udyog Bharati- Mysuru Vibhag and many senior officials, delegates and guests joined the program at the CSIR-CFTRI campus, Mysuru.

(With GDP entries)

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