On April 20, 2023, the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) released a whitepaper with the goal of making India a global leader in Agri-Tech innovation and expanding these innovations to Asia and Africa’s least developed countries. The whitepaper provides actionable steps to help Agri-Tech start-ups overcome challenges and grow at the national and international levels.
Launch of Whitepaper
In his address to the audience, Samuel Praveen Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, stated that Agri-tech startups in India have emerged as game changers in the agriculture sector, offering innovative solutions to emerging agricultural challenges such as climate change, improving productivity, and more.
The whitepaper outlines key observations and recommendations needed to address agriculture sector challenges and promote sustainable practises that benefit smallholder farmers in developing economies. Agri-Tech innovations will aid in addressing food security, supply chain inefficiencies, and climate change concerns.
Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director of the Atal Innovation Mission, stated that the agriculture sector is critical to food security, supply chain efficiency, and climate change mitigation, and that Indian Agri-Tech start-ups have provided significant solutions to these challenges. They hope to facilitate cross-border engagement, knowledge exchange, and investments to support high-impact Agri-Tech innovations and make agriculture practises efficient, resilient, and sustainable for smallholder farmers across developing economies through this partnership with UNCDF.
South-South Collaboration Environment for Start-ups in Asia and Africa
With over 70% of India’s agricultural workforce made up of smallholder farmers, agri-tech start-ups have emerged as a solution to farmers’ problems. AIM, in collaboration with UNCDF, seeks to establish a south-south collaboration environment in which Asian and African start-ups can exchange ideas and generate opportunities in their respective countries.
AIM collaborates with partner countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia as an anchor partner of the south-south collaboration initiatives. The collaboration focuses on three key challenges in agriculture: low productivity, poor risk resilience, and inefficient supply chain management.
The partners have expressed interest in and are at various stages of cross-border engagement in 25 potential Agri-Tech start-ups that aim to solve critical challenges in production, supply chain, risk, and climate change.
The Importance of Supporting High-Impact Agri-Tech Innovations
Emerging-economy Agri-Tech start-ups have successfully provided digital solutions to several agricultural challenges that the sector has faced in the past. AIM, in collaboration with UNCDF, is committed to supporting high-impact Agri-Tech innovations by creating an enabling environment that promotes start-up growth and cross-border knowledge sharing. The Indian start-up sector has the potential to act as a knowledge hub, facilitating market development in less-developed start-up economies around the world.
The publication of the whitepaper is a significant step towards making India a global leader in Agri-Tech innovation and spreading these innovations to Asia and Africa’s least developed countries. AIM, NITI Aayog, and UNCDF are all committed to achieving this goal and achieving sustainable and inclusive growth in the agriculture sector. The partners hope to promote efficient, resilient, and sustainable agriculture practises for smallholder farmers across developing economies by supporting high-impact Agri-Tech innovations, creating an enabling environment for start-up growth, and promoting cross-border engagement and knowledge exchange.