Agriculture is now a market-driven business in India. Agri-businesses in India include food production, farming, farm machinery, seed supply, fertilisers, Agri-chemicals, irrigation equipment, distribution, processing, marketing, trade, wholesaling and retailing. The Government introduces schemes mainly to bolster the agriculture sector of India and to improve the economic condition of stakeholders.
Government schemes supporting the Agriculture ecosystem
Atal Innovation Mission
The Atal Innovation Mission fosters innovation and entrepreneurship within the country and is a flagship initiative by the Government of India. Setup by NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Ayog, it develops programs and policies for various sectors in the economy. The mission collaborates with private companies to nurture innovation across various sectors like agriculture and healthcare, among others.
NewGen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Centres
The NewGen IEDC is a Government Scheme under the Start-up India program which is working to foster an entrepreneurial culture among academic institutions. Under this scheme, students are encouraged to pursue initiatives with commercialisation potential. Sponsored by the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), its an entrepreneurship development programme for industries like chemicals, networking & telecommunications, Agriculture and Artificial Intelligence, among others.
Venture Capital Assistance promoted by the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium
The Venture Capital Assistance scheme, as the name suggests, provides financial support in the form of interest free loans for Agri businesses in association with the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium.
Agriculture Grand Challenges
The Agriculture Grand Challenges are Government initiatives that encourage and identify Agri-innovations by start-ups that address the major problem areas of Indian agriculture.
Initiative for Development for Entrepreneurs in Agriculture (IDEA)
This Government scheme is part of the NEDFL (North-eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd) schemes by the Ministry of Development of North-eastern Region aimed at promoting and extending assistance to agri-businesses in the north-east region of India.
Agri Udaan is an agribusiness accelerator programme by the Government. It’s a platform for scale-up stage food & agribusiness start-ups to acquire mentoring, networking and investor access organised by a-IDEA (Association of Innovation Development of Entrepreneurship in Agriculture) in conjunction with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development).
Innovation and Agri Entrepreneurship Development programme
This scheme was launched under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to support Agri entrepreneurship and Agri businesses by providing financial support for start-ups. It provides employment opportunities to young entrepreneurs thus indirectly working to increase the income of farmers.
How these schemes boost the agricultural ecosystem
These schemes boost the agricultural ecosystem by working to increase agricultural productivity in Indian farming. They directly benefit farmers by prioritising their welfare. It helps agriculture stakeholders to eventually achieve the goal of qualitative improvements in their agricultural yield and products.
How agriculture start-ups will benefit
Agriculture start-ups will benefit by recognition from the Government and growth achieved through support from these schemes. The agriculture start-up ecosystem will also swell as more start-ups emerge to tap into the potential market opportunity with help from the Government. Apart from the recognition, a number of other benefits like tax exemption and patent support will encourage more start-ups to venture into the agri business.
The NewGen IEDC is a Government Scheme under the Start-up India program which is working to foster an entrepreneurial culture among academic institutions.
What’s in it for me?
Government schemes for boosting the agriculture ecosystem fosters entrepreneurship within the industry. Start-ups can enjoy benefits like capital investment subsidies and avail financing. Start-ups and entrepreneurs in agriculture and allied sectors can scale up with support from the government. By scaling operations through these schemes, agri-businesses would be able to reach farmers across every corner of the country.
The partnership between start-ups and the agriculture community will lead to better outcomes for the industry such as improved decision making and effective management in farming practices. With a continually improving and robust policy framework at the Government level, the Agricultural ecosystem will grow and gain solid footing which will in turn benefit the industry at large.