NABARD will launch a ₹1000-crore blended fund for agri-startups

  • The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) plans to develop a ₹1,000-crore fund to support technology-driven agricultural start-ups and rural entrepreneurs.
  • NABARD has formed a ₹750-crore fund and plans to add another ₹1,000 crore to encourage businesses. 

What is an Agri-Startup?

  • Agri-startups are entrepreneurial businesses that innovate and revolutionise many parts of agriculture and related sectors.
  • These firms use technology, data, and contemporary farming practices to address difficulties in the agricultural value chain and promote sustainable farming methods.
  • They provide a wide range of products and services targeted at increasing farmer productivity, efficiency, and profitability while also improving consumer food quality and safety. 

Key areas of innovation in agricultural start-ups include:

  1. Precision agriculture involves the use of data-driven technology such as IoT, drones, and satellite imaging to optimise yields, soil health, and crop monitoring.
  2. Agritech Solutions: Creating new technology and tools for pest and disease control, water management, greenhouse farming, and hydroponics.
  3. Farm Management Software: We offer digital platforms and mobile apps for farm management, crop planning, inventory management, and market intelligence.
  4. Agri-Marketing Platforms: Online marketplaces, e-commerce platforms, and farm-to-fork programmes help farmers connect with buyers, merchants, and consumers directly.
  5. Supply Chain Management: Streamlining logistics, transportation, and warehousing operations to reduce post-harvest losses, increase market access, and assure supply chain traceability and transparency.
  6. Food Processing: Creating value-added goods, food processing technology, and packaging solutions to increase the shelf life, nutritional content, and marketability of agricultural produce. 

About the Blended Fund for Agri-startups

  • The FY23 budget includes plans for a blended capital fund for ‘Sunrise Sectors’ to finance startups in agriculture and rural sectors.
  • The fund’s goal is to help businesses who are struggling to scale their operations owing to a lack of access to equity and loans.
  • It also aims to create new linkages in the rural ecosystem, both forward and backward. 

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