Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) have jointly launched a whitepaper aimed at making India a global leader in Agri-Tech innovation and expanding these innovations to the least developed countries in Asia and Africa.
The whitepaper, prepared by experts from AIM, NITI Aayog, and UNCDF, offers actionable steps to overcome challenges faced by Agri-Tech start-ups and facilitate their growth at national and international levels.
The whitepaper outlines the significant observations and recommendations required to tackle challenges in the agriculture sector and promote sustainable practices that support smallholder farmers across developing economies. Agri-Tech innovations will help address food security, supply chain inefficiencies, and climate change concerns.
Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare stated, “Agri-tech startups in India have emerged as a game-changer in the agriculture sector, offering innovative solutions to the emerging challenges in Agriculture like Climate change, Improving Productivity etc. The AIM-UNCDF Agri-tech challenge has uncovered the immense promise and potential of this market, and we are excited to see what the future holds.”
Speaking during the launch, Mission Director Atal Innovation Mission, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav said “The agriculture sector is critical to food security, supply chain efficiency, and climate change mitigation, and the Agri-Tech start-ups in India have provided significant solutions to these challenges. Through this partnership with UNCDF, we aim to facilitate cross-border engagement, knowledge exchange, and investments to support high-impact Agri-Tech innovations and make agriculture practices efficient, resilient, and sustainable for smallholder farmers across developing economies. We look forward to working with our partners to realize this vision.”
At the launch, Jaspreet Singh, Global lead, Financial health and Innovation, UNCDF, said, “The learnings from the Agri-tech challenge have been immense and revealed that the market is enormous and has immense potential for global south-south collaboration. Moving forward, we are working towards creating a community platform for smallholder farmers which can be helpful for Agri and Agri-tech startups to exchange ideas, explore collaboration, and share knowledge”
With over 70% of the agricultural workforce in India comprising smallholder farmers, Agri-tech start-ups have emerged as the solution to the challenges faced by farmers. AIM, in partnership with UNCDF, aims to create a south-south collaboration environment where start-ups from Asia and Africa can exchange ideas and generate opportunities in their respective countries.
AIM, an anchor partner of the south-south collaboration initiatives, collaborates with partner countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia. The collaboration focuses on addressing three key challenges in the agriculture sector, namely low productivity, poor risk resilience, and inefficient supply chain management. Out of 25 potential Agri-Tech start-ups that aim to solve critical challenges around production, supply chain, risk, and climate change, the partners have shown interest in and are at various stages of cross-border engagement.
The Agri-Tech start-ups in emerging economies have successfully provided digital solutions to several agricultural challenges that the sector has faced in the past. AIM, in partnership with UNCDF, is committed to supporting high-impact Agri-Tech innovations, creating an enabling environment that facilitates start-up growth and sharing of knowledge across borders. The Indian start-up sector has the potential to play the role of a knowledge hub and support market development in less-developed start-up economies across the globe.