Budget 2023 Sets Foundation For 'Amrit Kaal' Of India's Agri Sector

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Union Budget 2023 brings cheer for agritech startups with the launch of the new fund. Entrepreneurs from the sector lauds government's attention on agriculture

The Finance Minister on Wednesday said that the Digital Public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open source, open standard and interoperable public good.  She said, this will enable inclusive, farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services for crop planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit, and insurance, help for crop estimation, market intelligence, and support for the growth of agri-tech industry and startups. 

Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, Founder and CEO, AgNext Technologies said, "The government's focus on bringing modern technologies to Indian farms, increasing productivity and ensuring food security as a constant commitment towards the nation will pave way for comprehensive development and incentivise the growth of all stakeholders including farmers and agribusinesses."

The FM announces that an Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, which will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices, increase productivity and profitability.

Multiple initiatives announced by the government today will contribute to the all-round progress and small farmer prosperity. Amith Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, agribazaar shared his viewpoint. 

  • The Agriculture Accelerator fund aims to bring modern technology to transform agricultural practices and enhance India's agri-production. This focused support by the government will further catalyze entrepreneurial & technological interest in the sector and encourage agri-preneurs to design and bring innovative and economical solutions to India's farmlands. 

  • The government proposes to adopt a cluster-based value chain approach through public-private partnerships. Towards this goal, a National cooperative database will be set up to map decentralized storage capacities across the country. This initiative will create pathways for last-mile linkages farmers to store their produce and earn remunerative prices. It will also open more opportunities for private-sector investments in agri-infrastructure

  • The government will extend support to develop the Indian Institute of Millet Research as a center of excellence. The focus on millet cultivation will contribute to India's position as the nutrition hub for the world

  • Further, the government announced measures to boost farmer income by promoting farm mechanization. 

  • Three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence to be set up where leading tech companies will partner with the government for AI integration in the areas of health and agriculture

This coupled with Agri Accelerator Fund is a smart idea for providing cutting-edge tools and technologies to young entrepreneurs and agritech businesses in rural areas. The government's support for digital public infrastructure will assist farmers in crop estimation and planning by raising awareness and facilitating higher-quality input. 

Amit Sinha, Co-founder of Unnati mentioned, "The National Cooperative Database will be established to map the country's decentralised storage capacities. This initiative will lay the groundwork for last-mile linkage farmers to store their produce and earn fair prices. It will also increase opportunities for private-sector investment in agricultural infrastructure."

Rajamanohar Somasundaram, CEO and Founder, Aquaconnect "The recent budget exhibits a strategic and forward-looking approach to advancing innovation in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. The government's emphasis on "Make AI in India & Make AI work for India" reflects a clear determination to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence for maximum impact across various sectors. The integration of AI with satellite remote sensing in Aquaculture holds immense potential for boosting production efficiency, optimising feed usage, and logistics, and importantly, decarbonising the seafood value chain by quantifying emissions and implementing countermeasures to drive sustainability and accelerate our efforts towards net zero goals."

The most visionary item in the budget is the focus on creating digital public goods in Agriculture. This will help build the bedrock for increasing innovation in the agri sector.

Tags assigned to this article:

Around The World