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Ag Tech Startup: In Hyderabad, Agri-Startup Idea Catching Up.

Hyderabad: Several enthusiasts in Hyderabad are coming up with agri-startups and creating communication technologies and e-commerce platform for farmers, helping farmers produce new crops like quinoa, producing A2 milk, a nutrient-rich cow milk. Agri-startups are coming up with several new initiatives aimed at bettering the lives of not only farmers but also consumers and other stakeholders in agriculture.

Subash Manohar Lode is an entrepreneur who left the IT sector and started an agri-startup. He said “A majority of Indian people are dependent on agriculture but farmers are facing a lot of problems. They do not even know which pesticide to use for which problem and which company’s seeds are good. As a result, they are confused and often misled. They also do not have direct access to agricultural officers or scientists to have their doubts clarified. To solve problems like these, we are coming up with, an online platform which provides information and logistics solutions to farmers. It is more like a social network for farmers.”

Agrowbook is initiated by National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) and it is one of the incubatee projects at a-IDEA, an agri-innovation centre. In July last year, to support agri-startups, NAARM set up a-IDEA as a technology business incubator.

A-IDEA hand-holds entrepreneurs who come up with agri-startup ideas, mentor them and provide them research, managerial and technology support. They even guide entrepreneurs on financial aspects and link them to banks and other institutes for funds.

Principal scientist and chief executive officer of a-IDEA, Dr. K Srinivas said “Whenever we hear the word ‘startup’, an IT startup comes to our mind. There is a lot of activity going on in the information technology startup sector. But it is encouraging to see that many youngsters and entrepreneurs are interested in working in the field of agriculture and coming up with ideas. Many are launching agri-startups after giving up lucrative jobs in sectors like IT. Right now there are five agri-startups being incubated at NAARM and we have guided more than 30 agri-startups till now.”

Srinivas added “Most of the entrepreneurs who are taking up agri-startups are concerned about agriculture and take up these projects as social entrepreneurs rather than just with commercial motive. They are adding value to the agricultural chain right from farmers to end consumers.”

CS Jadhav is an incubate at a-IDEA, helps farmers cultivate quinoa, a coarse millet, in various parts of state, procures it and produces ready-to-eat quinoa cereal products. Quinoa is a new crop for Indian farmers and has many health benefits. Jadhav aims to popularise it through his agri-startup.

While the concern for agriculture is the main feature which all agri-startups exhibit, commercial viability and scientific and technological feasibility are evaluated by a-IDEA before selecting an agri-startup for incubation.

Srinivas also said that there is growing interest among youngsters in agri-startups and there is also need for more. Enthusiasts with good agri-startup ideas or those who are already in this field can approach us for further help.