In a significant development, higher education institutions (HEIs) in India have come together to establish a pioneering HEI-led ‘Agri-Consortium,’ spearheaded by IIM Kashipur. During the ‘Agri-Entrepreneurship in South Asia Consortium-2023,’ organised by the Foundation for Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development (FIED), an incubation centre affiliated with IIM Kashipur in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, participating institutions (HEIs) formally adopted an initial framework for this initiative.
The two-day Agri Consortium 2023 aimed to create a common platform for scholars, researchers, students, and industry experts to engage and deliberate on the latest trends and technological advancements, research, funding opportunities, and industry requirements within the agriculture sector.
During the consortium, higher education institutions (HEIs) and universities reached a principled agreement encompassing three key steps. Firstly, they agreed to share startup databases among consortium members. Secondly, they committed to disseminating incubation and startup support programmes. Lastly, they pledged to network and exchange best practises on this collaborative platform.
Professor Kulbhushan Balooni, the Director of IIM Kashipur, expressed his gratitude to all participants for the successful culmination of the two-day ‘Agri-Entrepreneurship in South Asia’ Consortium 2023.
In another noteworthy development, the RKVY RAFTAAR Scheme, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India through FIED and IIM Kashipur, has allocated funding of 1.6 crore rupees to 10 startup companies operating in diverse sectors, including drone technology, Agri supply chain, Food processing, hydroponics, waste to wealth, and Agri biotechnology industries.
Professor Kulbhushan Balooni of IIM Kashipur remarked, “This Agri Consortium will serve as a platform for sharing information about agri-startups supported by member higher education institutions across different regions of the country. It opens up avenues for collaboration among startups from diverse geographical backgrounds, facilitating the dissemination of innovative solutions to a broader audience of farmers.”
Professor Safal Batra, Associate Professor at IIM Kashipur and Director of FIED, added, “Through this consortium, we are cultivating a reservoir of knowledge for the startup ecosystem. This will enable us to extend our support to various industries in nurturing significant startups within the agricultural sector. Additionally, we intend to establish a knowledge repository for failed startups in the agricultural industry, providing valuable insights into their shortcomings. These insights will be shared with policymakers and the government to aid in the formulation of policies for their benefit.”
Approximately 10 HEIs, including IGKV-Raipur, CCS Haryana Agriculture University, Hisar, Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, IVRI Bareilly, Pusa Krishi, New Delhi, GB Pant University, VCSJ Uttarakhand University of Forestry & Horticulture, Bharsar, Uttarakhand, and CCS NIAM Jaipur, along with IIM Kashipur, have formally committed to this principled agreement to foster collaboration within the Agri Consortium.
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