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Niti Aayog Pitches For Distinct Agritech Start-Up Policy

Niti Aayog suggests that building the capacity of local institutions and promoting the creation of local agriculture-related infrastructures will boost the scalability and sustainability of agritech start-ups

Niti Aayog Pitches For Distinct Agritech Start-Up Policy

Press Trust Of India

POSTED ON April 21, 2023 8:30 AM

Government think tank Niti Aayog on Thursday pitched for a distinct agritech start-up policy to improve last-mile connectivity, ensure access to quality data and promote the local level of infrastructure for farm-level processing.

In its white paper on ‘Gearing Up To Solve Food Security Challenges’, the Aayog said only a few states like Delhi and Maharashtra have start-up policies to promote and nurture them.

"The agritech start-up needs a different kind of support where they depend on government resources (data) and infrastructures (warehouse and cold storage) to a great extent.

"Therefore, a distinct agritech start-up policy will go a long way in promoting and facilitating many such start-ups," it said.

According to the Aayog, it will also help the government departments work around the issues related to sharing of data, usage of data and privacy issues by private firms.

The Aayog said agritech solutions available in the market are making the lives of smallholders better by improving access to quality input, access to the market, reducing risks, access to information and a host of other products and services, resulting in improved productivity and price realisation. 

"Still, the agritech start-ups are not scaling up as fast as the start-ups in other sectors," the government think tank said, adding that they face challenges regarding access to quality data, regulations and the absence of agriculture-related infrastructure.

To ensure that all smallholders can benefit from the services and products of the agritech start-ups, the aayog suggested that the government needs to put significant effort into building the capacity of local institutions like the Farmer Producer Organisation (FPOs) or cooperatives.

It noted that due to fragmented land parcels and many smallholder farmers in India, it is challenging for start-ups to reach out to individual farmers. 

Talking about the need for promoting the local level of infrastructure, the aayog said the government should promote the creation of local agriculture-related infrastructures by incentivising and providing financing from formal financial institutions. 
"It will boost the farmers' income and ensure the start-ups' scalability and sustainability," it added.

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