TiE Kerala recently organised an agriculture sector-focused entrepreneurial programme, Agripreneur 2019, in Kottayam. The event was held as a prelude to the eighth edition of Kerala’s largest conference on entrepreneurship, TiEcon Kerala 2019.
Observing a paradigm shift in the field of agriculture, experts at the event discussed how the sector would take the centre stage of innovation
Inaugurating the conference Dr. R Chandra Babu, Vice Chancellor, Kerala Agricultural University, said that the agriculture sector will be at the centre stage of innovation and lead India towards overall social and economic transformation by 2020.
NASSCOM has reported an emerging positive shift in the domain of Indian enterprises from IT and e-commerce to other unconventional areas like education, health and agriculture that offer the most fundamental challenge to humanity. The country has witnessed a jump in agri-tech startups with a funding of $248 million in the first half of 2019 which is a three-fold increase compared to $73 million in 2018, he said.
‘’Agri-tech startups are the true ‘Make in India’ gift to the world with more than 25 Indian agri-tech startups having global presence. More than half of the estimated 450 agri-tech startups work to provide better access to inputs to farmers and facilitate water supply solutions. The agri-tech system in the country is maturing as an emerging business opportunity in market linkage, digitalization of agriculture, better access to inputs, farm services and finance. Food processing is another rainbow sector for startups which holds greater promise. Kerala already has many successful entrepreneurs in this field,’’ Dr. R Chandra Babu said.
‘The focus is on how to approach farming as a well-integrated enterprise incorporating not just latest technologies but all aspects of an enterprise, which would mean management of costs, human resources, finance, marketing and communications,’’ said MSA Kumar, President TiE Kerala.
Speaking on the key objectives of the conference, Jojo George, Programme Chair, said that Agripreneur meet seeks to establish innovative models and ensure rapid growth and success in various fields of modern agricultural practices and allied areas.
Jatin Singh, Managing Director, SkyMet Weather Services and expert in weather forecast and agri-tech segment, addressed the budding entrepreneurs and farmers on how Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Remote Sensing technologies and their analysis could be effectively used to manage financial risk of small-holding farmers.
Dr. V Venu IAS, Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management; Devendra Kumar Singh IAS, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Govt. of Kerala and Dr. K K Narayanan, Founder-Director & Advisor, Metahelix Life Sciences addressed the sessions.
The summit brought together experts and innovators from across the globe to share latest updates on futuristic ideas to help steer the State’s agri-business chain. The programme also discussed success stories in agriculture, future of farming, agri startups, best practices and agricultural clusters.