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Govt inviting agritech startups to solve key challenges in agriculture
With an aim to boost India’s ranking in agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture launched the first-of-its-kind Agriculture Grand Challenge in December 2017, inviting agritech startups to solve key challenges facing the sector.
A joint initiative by Ministry of Agriculture and Startup India Hub, the programme is designed for budding agri entrepreneurs as well as existing agri startup founders. Early-stage startups can apply for the idea stage whereas others can apply for the ready-market stage.
Twelve startups from each of the early stage, and ready-market stages (24 in total) would be selected to address the 12 themes (key problems) at the programme.
The idea-stage startups will get three-month incubation support to go from idea to prototype, with hand-holding from experts of the agriculture sector and real-time testing of proof of concept. The ready-market solutions will get to be part of a three-month market access programme aimed at the easy adoption of their innovation, mentoring by domain experts, and easy access to agriculture market.
Apart from the 24 startups that are selected for the programme, the remaining participants will get to be part of a series of agri-masterclasses. These would be organised across the country to provide networking and mentoring opportunity to agritech startups.
The initiative is looking for new concepts and innovations in the areas of simplified soil testing methods; assaying and grading solution; development of e-marketplace; price forecasting during sowing; last-mile information dissemination; yield estimation; sorting and grading of produce; adulteration testing; custom hiring centres; crop residue disposal; prevention of pre-harvest and post-harvest losses; and enhancing agricultural productivity.