The launch of the new scheme came three days after the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare had said that it will invest close to Rs 25 crore in 234 startups in agriculture and allied sectors in FY21.
The Central sector scheme of Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility launched under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund on Sunday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already supported hundreds of agri startups. The scheme approved by the Cabinet a month back to benefit farmers, Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Farmer Producer Orgaisations (FPO), agri-entrepreneurs, etc., has supported around 350 startups, according to PM Modi. “While on one hand, work is in progress on FPO’s network, on the other hand, agri-related startups are being encouraged. So far around 350 agri startups are being given support. These startups are in food processing, AI, IoT, manufacturing of agri-related smart equipment, and renewable energy,” Modi said while launching the scheme via video conference. Central sector schemes are directly funded by the central government while central sponsored schemes are jointly funded by the Centre and state governments.
Modi said that the scheme offers a “good opportunity for startups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country,” PMO said in a statement. PM also highlighted the opportunity for India to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain, and food processing apart from “building a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods”. The first sanction of more than Rs 1,000 crore has already been made to more than 2,280 farmer societies. Modi also released the sixth installment of funds of Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme. “This will help in creating better storage, modern cold storage chain in villages and many employment opportunities will be created in the village,” Modi added.
The launch came three days after the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare had said that it will invest close to Rs 25 crore in 234 startups in agriculture and allied sectors in FY21. The investment would be part of the recently launched Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development programme under the ministry’s Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Already 112 startups have been funded nearly Rs 12 crore, a statement by the ministry had said. Meanwhile, the MSME Ministry is already working on the agro MSME policy for nurturing entrepreneurship in rural, tribal, agricultural, and forest areas. This would enable the manufacturing of goods from local raw material, MSME Nitin Gadkari had said in a video conference with the members of the SME Chamber of India earlier this year.