An innovation hub for agriculture was launched at the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University (PJTSAU) Hyderabad on Monday to foster innovation in agriculture sector.
Set up with the help of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), AgHub will support agritech startups through innovation, incubation, and acceleration.
Information Technology and Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao launched the facility in the presence of Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy, Education Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, and other officials.
PJTSAU Vice Chancellor Dr V. Praveen Rao said that the facility has been structured in the hub and spoke model. The hub in Hyderabad will cater to students as well as entrepreneurs at national and even global level. There will be spokes at district level to cater to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), women self-help groups, and rural innovators.
AgHub would also support promotion of rural entrepreneurship for building agribusiness enterprises promoted by rural youth, women, farmers, and FPOs etc. These rural innovation centres would cater to the capacity building of FPOs and building FPO-led enterprises for building up crop value chains in select key crops of the state.
NABARD has granted Rs 10 crore for this incubator, which would be run with the help of a team of agribusiness industry management professionals.
NABARD Chairman Govinda Rajulu said they have helped setting up of seven agriculture incubators in the country. He said the convergence of research and technology will benefit farmers, whose income remained low despite the increase in production of agriculture produce.
Rama Rao emphasized the need to improve productivity and profitability of agriculture sector. He stated that food security is no more a challenge for India but nutritional security is. He pointed out that ever since Covid-19 pandemic broke out, people are more inclined towards consuming nutritional food.
The minister observed that there was no bigger innovator than the farmer and innovation was no one's property. He urged the university authorities to keep the doors of the AgHub open for all, especially farmers and rural innovators to provide them a platform to showcase their inventions for the benefit of scores of their fellow farmers.
He spoke about the rapid strides Telangana made in agriculture sector in a short span of time. He claimed that no other state in the country is implementing such a large number of schemes for the welfare of farmers and development of agriculture sector.