The Union Budget 2023 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 brought a glimmer of hope for the agritech industry and startups in India.
The 2023 budget focused on investing in key areas such as education and infrastructure, encouraging investment to promote economic growth, providing youth with access to quality jobs and skills, and maintaining economic stability through fiscal prudence.
The government’s initiative to build a digital infrastructure for the agricultural sector is expected to be a digital product open to the public that will support growth for these sectors.
Digital public infrastructure enables farmer-centric solutions through information services related to crop planning, improving access to agricultural inputs, credit, insurance, product evaluation, market intelligence and other related activities.
Agricultural Accelerator Fund
To further promote the growth of such startups, there will also be funding for agricultural accelerators. This fund will focus on supporting young rural entrepreneurs by equipping them with modern equipment and technology. Funding will follow a cluster-based approach, the FM said in the Union Budget 2023.
Saying the same thing, Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Founder and Managing Director of Venture Catalysts, said that “the initiative to develop a digital public infrastructure for agriculture is a step in the right direction, which will prove to be essential in growth of the emerging AgriTech sector in India. The foresight shown in setting up the Agriculture Accelerator Fund to support startups and entrepreneurs in the country is impressive, and will continue to strengthen India’s largest industry. “
The 2021 economic survey conducted on January 31 highlighted the importance of agritech startups in helping farmers improve their farming techniques and methods.
New digital infrastructure and accelerator funds are expected to build on this success. Entrepreneurs and new startups across rural areas will have access to state-of-the-art technology and resources to develop solutions that can help boost Indian agriculture productivity.
The government’s commitment to the agritech industry and startups is very encouraging. It is expected to bring about a revolutionary change in the Indian agricultural sector, helping farmers to increase production and make better use of available resources.
In addition to providing much-needed financial and technological support, government initiatives can lead to more jobs in the sector.
Fiscal policy will be strengthened by raising taxes or reducing government spending.
First published: 01 Feb 2023 at 11:28 am IST