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India To Improve Yield and Sustainability With Agritech

Agritech Yield and Sustainability Improvement in India
Image credit: Press Information Bureau

To promote sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient farming systems, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

The MoU will facilitate action research (research carried out with the active participation of farmers to provide solutions for the challenges). Also, the up-scaling of several technologies and farmer models; climate-resilient, integrated, and hi-tech farming practices in a participatory model through adoptive research on the watershed platform.

At the signing ceremony, the Director-General of ICAR emphasised the need to provide financial support to young agri-entrepreneurs with the help of NABARD. He also accentuated on the capacity building of the farmers of the country.

The MoU will facilitate site-specific transfers of technologies for sustainable agriculture, integrated farming systems, crop intensification, agro-forestry, plantation and horticulture, animal sciences, and agri-engineering.

Further, ICAR, through its large network, will support the training and capacity building of channel partners and NABARD officers.

The initiative will strengthen the competence of channel partners under NABARD’s promotional and developmental programmes; technology transfers under climate-resilient agriculture, contingency, and adaptation planning.

ICAR will also offer support for impact evaluations of NABARD assisted projects, DPR preparation for the climate change projects, farm mechanisation, agri-incubation centres/FPOs, and resource conservation.

ICAR is a premier organisation in the country with the mandate of agriculture, research, extension, and education. It leads the country’s National Agricultural Research and Extension System with a large network of 113 institutes, 75 state agricultural universities (SAUs) and central universities and 716 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) across the country.

KVK is an agricultural extension centre under ICAR.

ICAR, through its network, developed doable technologies in agriculture and the allied sectors of horticulture, livestock, and fisheries. They are being disseminated through various national and state-level programmes and schemes for farmers. Improving human resources and capacity building are also the core mandate of ICAR.

The NABARD deals with policy, planning, and operations in the field of credit for agriculture and other activities in rural areas.

Over the past few years, the agri-tech sector in India has witnessed some of the global and sector-focused funds directly investing in agri-tech start-ups. According to a report, as of June 2019, the sector received funding that was a massive growth of 300% as compared to the previous year.

Indian farmers have the capacity to try new tech-enabled solutions as there has been a 1.7-times increase in average farmer income in the last decade.

More than half of the agri-tech start-ups offer supply chain solutions like market linkage and better access to inputs. These research findings show the potential of the agri-tech industry and the opportunities that India presents in the agriculture and farming landscape.

Indian companies are now looking to expand through global markets, specifically in regions like Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America.

In the last five years, more than five global agri-tech companies have ventured in India, as compared to more than 25 Indian agri-tech start-ups with a global presence.

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