Connect with:
Friday / April 19. 2024
HomePosts Tagged "agrotech"

The fund expects to invest in 12 startups and has already secured commitments from leading investors such as IndusInd Bank

Caspian Equity, a Hyderabad-based venture capital fund that invests in social impact startups has launched a new equity fund LEAF (Leap for Agriculture Fund) with a focus on early-stage Food & Agribusiness startups. LEAF intends to achieve positive social and environmental impact through its investments besides aiming to attain attractive financial returns by laying emphasis on closely working with the portfolio companies to provide the required support.
“Caspian LEAF will focus on high-impact, close-to-farmer solutions that benefit small and marginal farmers. Some of the spaces we are looking at are efficiency in input use, reduction in drudgery, labour-saving farm machinery, close-to-farm processing and traceability solutions. We hope to be more than just investors, and help build robust and sustainable businesses that become market leaders in the spaces they operate in,” said Emmanuel Murray, Investment Director at Caspian Equity and Fund Manager of Caspian LEAF Fund.
The fund, which has a size of Rs 52 crore, will invest in pre-series A startups with ticket sizes ranging from Rs 1-5 crore. The fund expects to invest in 12 startups and has already secured commitments from leading investors such as IndusInd Bank.  
The fund aims to combine access to equity in the critical years of transaction and scaling up of start-up operations with close operational support and oversight on governance structures. The Fund intends to contribute significantly to improving the value chain of Agriculture majorly in the upstream segment which will address pain points across different elements of the agri value chain.

The fund expects to invest in 12

The reported enzyme can have extended application in food medicine.

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati researchers have studied the efficacy of a specific bacterial endoglucanase enzyme, RfGH5_4 from Ruminococcus flavefaciens in breaking down woody biomatter into a simple sugar that can be fermented efficiently to produce bioethanol – a promising renewable fuel that can replace petroleum-based fuel systems.

A team led by Prof. Arun Goyal, Dept. of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Lisbon, Portugal have recently published the discovery and observations of the research in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules. The published paper is the research work carried out by Parmeshwar Vitthal Gavande, a Doctoral student of Prof. Arun Goyal, as a part of the PhD thesis work.

The production of fuel from renewable biological sources has elicited significant scientific interest in recent years because of the problems of dwindling fossil fuel reserves and the environmental pollution associated with their generation and use. Of the many biofuels known, ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) is widely studied because of its positive impact on the environment. This intoxicating component of spirits and drinks that can also be used to fuel vehicles, is commonly produced by the fermentation of sugar and starch-containing raw materials – grapes, barley, and potato among others. However, there is interest in developing methods to extract bioethanol for fuel from agricultural and forestry residues and crops that are rich in carbohydrate polymers (lignocellulose) – the plant dry matter that constitutes the woody part of plants.

For industrial production of bioethanol as fuel, the lignocellulose extracted from plants is deconstructed by using the biological catalysts (enzymes) called cellulases and subsequently fermented. Endoglucanase is one such cellulase enzyme. The bottleneck to the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol is the poor efficiency of these enzymes. Furthermore, the lignocellulosic biomass contains hemicellulose along with cellulose, which cannot be broken down by many endoglucanases.

The IIT Guwahati scientists have shown the efficacy of a new type of endoglucanase called RfGH5_4 in breaking down lignocellulosic and hemicellulosic biomass for the eventual conversion to bioethanol fuel. The enzyme was derived from a bacterium called Ruminococcus flavefaciens.

The IIT Guwahati team chose Ruminococcus flavefaciens because this bacterium is found in the gut of cows and other cud-chewing animals which have faced cellulosic pressure for millions of years. The particular gene encoding the cellulase enzyme, RfGH5_4 was fished-out from R. flavefaciens. The researchers have thus developed this efficient machinery of RfGH5_4 to break down cellulose and cellulosic structures into simple sugars.  The bacterium harbours a cohort of at least 14 different multimodular enzymes that can break down cellulose, one of which is RfGH5_4.

Explaining the research work, Prof. Arun Goyal, Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Guwahati, said, “We characterized Endoglucanase, RfGH5_4 and found that it hydrolysed carboxymethyl cellulose (a lab-scale analog of cellulose) as well as normal amorphous cellulose with greater catalytic efficiency. Our studies also showed that this enzyme acted on lignocellulosic substrates from different agricultural residues such as cotton stalk, sorghum stalk, sugarcane bagasse, etc. and had good affinity for hemicellulosic substrates as well which include β-glucan, lichenan, xyloglucan, konjac glucomannan, xylan and carob galactomannan”.

The IITG team’s earlier work on cloning, expression and biochemical characterization of RfGH5_4 revealed that this particular endoglucanase is multifunctional and catalytically efficient.  With this knowledge, they characterized the structure of this enzyme, its reaction mechanism and the structural basis of its multi-functionality. Adding to the characteristics of RfGH5_4 they further emphasized that its multi-functionality makes RfGH5_4 stand out from the plethora of other cellulases that are present in nature and available commercially..

Elucidating the structural basis, Parmeshwar Gavande, PhD Research Scholar and the First author, elaborated, The structure of RfGH5_4 was deciphered using extensive molecular dynamics and computational approaches at Param-Ishan Supercomputer facility of IITG. RfGH5_4 was found to contain some highly flexible loops in its core structure making room for different carbohydrate polymers during the reaction, thus imparting the multifunctionality to RfGH5_4”

“Agricultural residual biomasses are wasted or burned causing various environmental hazards including global warming and climate change. Their deconstruction by RfGH5_4 might extend its usage in food medicine as well”, Prof. Goyal foresees employing RfGH5_4 to serve humanity. The presented research constructively tries to lend a helping hand in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 (SDGs) of the United Nations”, Prof. Goyal further added.

RfGH5_4 is sufficiently active at ambient temperatures. Therefore, it might be suitable for the Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation (SSF) of lignocellulosic biomass, a process greatly admired in the industry.

The research has shown that multifunctional RfGH5_4 cellulase might be used for the efficient and cost-effective production of lignocellulosic bioethanol on an industrial scale. Thus, its ability to break down cellulose and hemicellulose makes it possibly useful in various other applications such as the textile, food and pulp industry, synthesis of prebiotics, and pharmaceuticals, among others.

The findings of this research work were also recently presented by Gavande at the International Conference of Biotechnology for Better Tomorrow (ICBBT-2022) at Bali, Indonesia, and received the Best Oral Presentation Award for it.

The reported enzyme can have extended application

BioVeda is building an integrated full-stack Agri-tech platform to bring digital efficiency to the agriculture ecosystem. 

BioVeda Agro Ventures India’s first integrated online platform for farmers has recently secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from India Accelerator’s Angel Investors’ network – iAngels. 

Incepted in February 2022, the Agri-tech platform brings a wide range of Agri- services for farmers to sell their Agri-produce, buy Agri-inputs and avail of credit facilities at lower interest rates on a single Digital Platform.

BioVeda plans to allocate the majority of funds to Business Expansion & Technology. 

Mahua Hazra, Co-founder & CEOof BioVeda Agro Ventures said, “We are delighted to have completed the seed funding round that will give us an impetus to seize the market opportunity & drive expansion. We are ready to dive into the fastest growing sector of Financial Inclusion and Rural E-Commerce. We believe that our business model will play a crucial role in easing the farmers’ access to better Credit facilities; Agri inputs supplies and help them obtain the best rates for their Agri-produce. We operate by the principle of Aggregation & we are confident that our Data Driven Farmer engagement will help in understanding the real needs of the Farmer and would eventually lead to empowering multiple industries through AI and our Predictive SCM. Most importantly, I am glad that we are able to generate Rural employment through incentive-based employment programs and are contributing towards Nation building.”

Commenting on the investment, Deepak Nagpal, Managing Partner & Business Head for iAgri (IA’s Agritech Vertical) said, “BioVeda is a fantastic example of inducing sustainable agriculture practices and super growth metrics in a very short span of time. With an increasing number of farmers looking to foster stable and continuous production, BioVeda’s integrated advanced Agri-tech platform will actually add moolah in the Farmer’s pocket. We have invested in the start-up with great zeal and we look forward to witnessing fast paced growth and profitability.”

Commenting on the growth strategy, Kaushik Dasgupta, Co-Founder & COOsaid; “BIOVEDA is backed by a strong team of founders, with a cumulative 120+ years of experience. India has 7 lakh+ villages and each village is an average business opportunity of INR 5-8 Cr annually. In a short span of 10 months, we have built a robust network of farmers in a select few states. We are currently working with 25 distributors, 300+ Kisan Mitras (VLEs) and over 25,000 Farmers, all digitally enabled. BioVeda aims to cover 10,000+ Villages and 1 million Farmers by the end of the next Financial Year. The right mix of technology and physical presence (Phygital Model) on the ground is the key to our fast-track growth.”

With mobile penetration at its peak, the data collection and automated verification that the company is doing at the root level for every farmer bring a huge set of opportunities, benefitting the FPOs ecosystem in the country as well. 

BioVeda is building an integrated full-stack Agri-tech

WWF report details how stakeholders are putting research into action and ramping up environment-friendly indoor farming.

The St. Louis region is positioned to become the global centre for innovation in indoor soilless agriculture thanks to a cooperative effort from dozens of experts over the past two years. This work, which aims to realise the full potential of a burgeoning industry while benefiting the local community, is detailed in a new report released today from World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Markets Institute.

Indoor soilless farming has great potential to supplement the US food system and help alleviate supply chain instability, food deserts, and the massive environmental impact of traditional farming. But to fulfil this potential and grow at an accelerated pace, the industry must address several challenges including high energy footprints, affordability, and expanding beyond leafy greens. To that end, a St. Louis-based coalition of more than 70 professionals from varying industries has worked to establish a centralised base of knowledge and best practices and lay the groundwork for a new indoor farm where innovative ideas can be put to the test.

“These past few years we’re seen in the US just how fragile our current food system really is,” said Julia Kurnik, director of innovation startups at WWF’s Markets Institute. “We need new food solutions that don’t put additional pressure on nature and climate, and indoor agriculture is one with enormous potential. We’ve dedicated a lot of effort into figuring out how to accelerate the indoor farming industry in a sustainable way, and it’s so gratifying to see that research come to life in the St. Louis region.”

The St. Louis region was identified as the ideal base for these endeavours in a 2020 WWF analysis due to its unrivalled relevant science expertise in plant science, agtech, and bioscience, along with strong potential partners including universities, foundations, and grocery chains. There is plenty of unused or under-utilised infrastructure and capital assets that could be repurposed for or integrated with indoor farms to lower the environmental impact of the facilities. There is also an opportunity to benefit local communities by producing healthy food year-round in urban settings while also creating job opportunities requiring little or no previous experience.

WWF report details how stakeholders are putting

With the DGCA certificate, AG 365 drone is now eligible for Rs 10 lakh unsecured loans from the AIF

India’s leading drone manufacturer, Marut Drones’ has received the Type Certification approvals from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its tested and robustly designed multi-utility agricultural drone AG 365. “AG 365 is designed and developed for Indian conditions and can be used for multiple purposes giving a higher ROI to the user. AG 365 is extensively tested for more than 1.5 lakh acres and optimised for performance to be used in agriculture. Further, extensive research is undergone with AG 365 for development of crop-specific drone spraying SOPs in collaboration with agricultural universities and research institutes,” the drone manufacturer said.

Having been awarded a type certificate for AG 365 model, the drone is now eligible for INR 10 lakh unsecured loans from the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) at a minimal 5-6 per cent interest rate. Further, a 50-100 per cent subsidy can be availed from the Government of India. The made-in-India Kisan Drone – AG 365 has been developed particularly for agricultural purposes to reduce crop loss, lower agrochemical usage, better yield and profits to the farmers, the company said.

With the DGCA certificate, AG 365 drone

Agriculture solutions will help farmers gain timely, localised, and accurate weather-related information, crop and other farm-related information.

The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence has received a $1 million grant from Google.Org. Wadhwani AI will use this grant for building AI-powered agriculture solutions, according to the statement.

Agriculture solutions will help farmers gain timely, localised, and accurate weather-related information, crop and other farm-related information, the statement said.

“With roughly half of India’s population dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, this is a sector where technological advancements can lead to pervasive benefits. We’re therefore happy to announce a new 1 million dollar grant to Wadhwani AI via to support their deployment of AI-based solutions to improve agricultural outcomes,” said Manish Gupta, Research Director, Google Research India.

In 2019 Wadhwani AI had received a USD 2 million grant from to support the CottonAce AI-powered pest management solution.

The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence is an independent nonprofit institute developing and deploying AI-based solutions for underserved communities in developing countries.

Agriculture solutions will help farmers gain timely,

Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly developed for agricultural purposes such as reducing crop loss, crop health monitoring, yield measurement, and crop loss mitigation.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved both Type Certification and RTPO for the indigenously designed Kisan Drones by drone manufacturer, Garuda Aerospace.

The Made in India Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly developed for agricultural purposes such as reducing crop loss, crop health monitoring, yield measurement, and crop loss mitigation with the latest manufacturing capacities, and strong technology backgrounds.

DGCA Type certification is provided on the basis of the quality check of the drones and is issued after a rigorous testing process for the UAVs. The Type certification was introduced by the government of India in August 2021 under Drone Rules and the historic dual DGCA approval validates the Chennai-based startup’s tag of being India’s most valuable Drone startup.

Post the approval of the Type Certificate for the GA-AG model, the startup is now eligible for Rs.10 lakh unsecured loans from Agri Infrastructure Fund at a 5 per cent interest and 50-100 per cent subsidy from the Government of India. Priced at Rs.4.50 lakhs, these Kisan Drones are India’s most affordable advanced automated Agri Drone which has DGCA-approved Type Certification in the under 25kg small category.

With this development, ICAR, KVKs, FMTTI, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer welfare, and several other Government Agriculture bodies will now have an option of procuring high-tech Made in India Drones manufactured by Garuda Aerospace. This will lead to creating job opportunities for the youth in the near future and a vision of training 1 lakh drone pilots in the next 2 years. 

Kisan drones, manufactured by Garuda, are particularly

Otur collection centre is launched to directly source certified organic produce for customers across in West India to start with.   

In continued focus to empower farmers and offer the trusted, certified organic high-quality fruits and vegetables to its customers, Amazon Retail India has launched its eleventh farmer collection centre in Otur, Pune, Maharashtra.

In Maharashtra alone, Amazon Retail now operates six farmer collection centres at Manchar, Nasik, Wai, Kunjirwadi, Tembhurni and Ratnagiri, working with over 5000 farmers including various Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) sourcing locally grown fresh fruits & vegetables.

Various types of fruits & vegetables like certified organic vegetables, exotic vegetables, seasonal fruits and fresh leafy vegetables are sourced directly from farms across Maharashtra. These collection centres assure farmers of fast payments, fair and transparent pricing, and guidance on various other farming possibilities.

This new facility at Otur will be an addition to the fast-expanding produce value chain network enabling farming community to leverage the digital economy and have their produce reach consumer as fast as possible. Otur collection centre is launched to directly source certified organic produce for customers across in West India to start with.   

Amazon’s farmer collection centre has a robust temperature-controlled supply chain infrastructure that provides the right starting point for high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. After sourcing from farmers, Amazon uses state-of-the-art technologies to inspect and monitor the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables at multiple stages across its supply chain. The fruits and vegetables are sorted, graded, geotagged, and packaged in different sizes in well-aerated sustainable packaging materials at specialised processing centre primarily focused at retaining freshness and quality attributes, which is then trans-shipped to Amazon Fresh fulfilment centres located closer to customers.

Otur collection centre is launched to directly

Cropwise Grower app is now available in India in nine languages and slated for rollout in Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh

Syngenta and image recognition specialist, Plantix, have launched an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled digital farming tools which is set to provide access to at least half a million smallholder farmers across the Asia Pacific.

The partnership gives Asia’s smallholder farmers access to a global database of over 50 crops and 500 diseases, which will be available through Syngenta’s Cropwise Grower app for farmers. The app uses the power of data to protect crop yields with on-demand advice on agricultural best-practices crop protection solutions.

With a rollout covering five countries and 750,000 hectares of farmland, the farming app will widen access to smart farming features for half a million farmers producing staple cash crops such as cotton, rice, corn, wheat and more.

Using AI, Cropwise Grower will allow farmers to take a photo of their crop problem, and in real-time, diagnose crop pests and diseases with 93 per cent accuracy. The image is analysed by the Plantix algorithms to identify the issue and provide a recommendation.

The uploaded images are also geo-tagged so that the app is able to alert farmers with early warnings when pest and disease pressures are identified in their surrounding area.

Targeting farmers in Asia’s top agriculture economies, the Cropwise Grower app is now available in India in nine languages and will be progressively rolled out in Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

“The emergence of challenges, such as new pests and diseases with climate change, coupled with extreme weather events, have made farming incrementally challenging. By bringing smart solutions closer to farmers, AI and data can help them overcome traditional constraints and information gaps. Our aim is to make digital tools as commonly used by smallholder farmers as the traditional rake here in the Asia Pacific. This partnership taps into our extensive regional networks to make this technology accessible at a large scale,” said Alexander Berkovskiy, APAC Regional Director at Syngenta.

Features of the Cropwise Grower app have been designed and tested with rural farmers in mind and include critical features which are available offline for users in areas with intermittent internet connection. It is tailored to regional crops and diseases and will be available in local languages, including nine local languages across India. Historical diagnoses and recommended solutions can be stored for on-demand offline access by farmers.

“As part of our commitment to the communities in which we operate, we are investing heavily in digital and believe that it has the power to help farmers make better decisions, reduce crop losses and increase yields,” explained Chris Chen, APAC Head of Digital Transformation at Syngenta.

“Cropwise Grower is the vehicle that allows us a direct connection, at scale, with millions of growers across the Asia Pacific. By ensuring the end-to-end user flow is 100 per cent automated, the partnership with Plantix allows an accurate diagnosis and recommendation to be provided in less than five seconds. This real-time feedback will be critical in driving behavioural change for our smallholder farmers across the region,” he adds.

Cropwise Grower app is now available in India

Sentera, a Minnesota, USA-based ag analytics platform powered by machine learning, has announced the launch of its Direct Georeferencing (DGR) System, which quickly connects to an ag drone to add high-precision location certainty to high-resolution aerial imagery.

“Drones have transformed data collection processes for agriculture,” said Ryan Nelson, chief mechanical engineer, Sentera. “With the DGR, we’re taking it one step further by eliminating inefficiencies so our customers can deliver insights faster.”

The Sentera DGR System features a tactical-grade inertial measurement unit (IMU) and RTK GPS that tightly integrates with a sensor, like Sentera’s 6X Multispectral or 6X Thermal. DGR-enabled products quickly connect with compatible drones, including the DJI Matrice 300 and several MAVLINK-based platforms.

The DGR System adds high-precision geolocation information in real time, which means fewer images are required to cover the same area. As a result, users can eliminate the need for the orthomosaic stitching process. In real-world use, drone flight times decrease by up to 60 per cent, and the time to move from collection to analysis can be reduced by up to 8x.

“Many times, image stitching is just a necessary evil to assemble the data that produces a crop insight,” said Nelson. “With the DGR System, this process is eliminated – completely transforming how fast we can deliver data.”

Because image stitching is no longer required to precisely geolocate data, many analysis workflows can be accomplished right at the field edge. Where cloud-based processing is preferred, the DGR System’s dramatic reduction in data volume accelerates production rates versus current techniques.

“Efficiency in the field allows our customers to spend their time where it matters most – analysing key crop health and performance measurements to validate outcomes and performance,” said Nelson.

Sentera, a Minnesota, USA-based ag analytics platform

Investment to help improve access to sustainable, tailor-made agri-solutions benefiting millions of Indian farmers

IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund (EAF) have made an investment of Rs 300 Cr (approx.US$37Mn) in Crystal Crop Protection Ltd., a leading agrochemical player in India. This will allow the company to boost farm productivity, reduce supply chain disruptions triggered by COVID-19, and set up a robust infrastructure for sustainable production of crop protection products. The IFC Emerging Asia Fund, launched in 2016, makes equity and equity-like investments across all sectors in emerging markets in Asia alongside IFC.

The new investment promises to benefit millions of Indian farmers by establishing a robust production framework for green crop solutions. The project will increase farmers’ access to customised, affordable, and environment-friendly crop protection products, and in doing so, enhance their productivity. While supporting farmers, the project will increase market competitiveness, playing a catalytic role in strengthening the agriculture sector in India.

While agriculture provides employment for nearly half of India’s labour force, it contributed only about 17 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1Q-FY23. Farmer incomes are low and volatile due to poor access to quality inputs, credit, technical expertise, and markets. Addressing these challenges will help the sector increase profits and raise farmers’ incomes.

The financing package will support Crystal Growth plans, enabling it to focus on innovation and strengthening its research and development (R&D) capacity. Improved R&D ability will support the Indian agrochemical industry to align itself with environmentally friendly global market trends.

Commenting on the transaction, Ankur Aggarwal, Managing Director, of Crystal Crop Protection Limited, said, “This investment will further consolidate the company’s position in the Indian market and strengthen its commitment toward sustainable crop solutions to increase farm profitability of Indian farmers by leveraging R&D and technology. We remain committed to the highest standards of environmental, health and safety guidelines, and governance in all our operations.″

Commenting on IFC’s investment, Wendy Werner, India Country Head at IFC, said: ″IFC’s investment will help improve access to sustainable, tailor-made agri-solutions benefiting millions of farmers.″ ″Strengthening climate-smart agribusiness is at the heart of our development mission in the country. We are confident this investment will bolster supply chains, encourage future investors and promote resilience in the sector,″ she added.

The investment will also help the company improve its IT infrastructure and automation in its plants. Going forward, Crystal aims to grow double digits in crop protection chemicals and seeds by funding working capital requirements. The company recently launched a new business in agrochemical retail, Safire Crop Science, which will leverage technology to promote crop solutions and services, allowing farmers to access them more efficiently.

Investment to help improve access to sustainable,

At the recently held national conference ‘Expansion of Horticulture Value Chain in India’ held at Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management in Pune, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that to promote farming and to raise the standard of living of farmers, schemes like Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan), Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs 1 lakh crore, Digital Agriculture Mission, Drone Technology, e-NAM, PM irrigation schemes are being implemented. The programme was organised by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and attended by people related to the horticulture field including farmers, FPOs, start-ups and bankers were present.

Tomar in his address said that if the villages are prosperous and self-reliant, then the country itself will become prosperous and self-sufficient. Tomar said that agriculture is our priority and the backbone of our economy. He said that there is a need to pioneer the agriculture sector because the traditional economy of agriculture and villages is the biggest strength of the country. No matter how adverse the situation, agriculture always proves helpful for our economy. He said that the merchant-entrepreneur should give the maximum price of agricultural produce to the farmer. This will not only make our farmers prosperous but also inspire the next generation to do farming.  

Tomar said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has promoted indigenous technology in agriculture in the last 8 years. Modi has not only talked about increasing the income of farmers but also taken several measures by associating State governments and by directly involving farmers.

He also said that today youth, retired employees, and people associated with the corporate sector are also coming forward for farming. People’s interest in organic and natural farming is also increasing. There has been a record export of agricultural products worth Rs 4 lakh crore.

Tomar said that today India is self-sufficient in food grains. India ranks first or second in the world in most agricultural products. Along with food crops, horticulture cultivation is also being promoted. For small farmers, the Central Government started the Horticulture Mission and scheme of FPOs. Efforts are being made that small farmers should do farming together so that they get maximum benefits. By uniting in the FPO and cluster system, the farmers will not have to go to the traders, but the traders will be forced to come to them to buy products.

 Tomar said along with the production of food grains, the horticulture sector, especially the cultivation of vegetables and flowers, plays an important role in increasing the income of the farmers. It is necessary to pay attention to the cultivation of fruits, vegetables and millet because only food grains will not work for the nutrients.  

At the recently held national conference ‘Expansion

Salient Predictions, a Boston-based technology company that creates the world’s most accurate subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) weather forecasts and analytics, has announced the launch of a new suite of weather metrics which will provide agribusiness and food producers with data to make faster, smarter decisions.

The company’s new agriculture metrics incorporate hyper-localised forecast data which is relevant to the agriculture sector. This data is based on Salient’s industry-leading ocean and land-surface forecasting technologies developed from decades of research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT.

“Agriculture businesses are experiencing first-hand effects of our changing climate, having more accurate, long-term weather metrics that go far beyond what’s possible today gives a critical advantage for resource planning and preparedness in the face of increasing climate disruptions.” said Matt Stein, CEO of Salient.

“These new and enhanced metrics enable agribusinesses to better anticipate the impacts of weather on their operations,” said Janet Lee, Chief Product Officer at Salient.

The Metrics helps agribusinesses better anticipate the needs of their customers and proactively place the right products at the right time to maximize the benefits realized.

Salient Predictions, a Boston-based technology company that creates

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets, with 72 countries supporting India’s proposal at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To commemorate this, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur and NABARD recently held a two-day Millets Conclave in collaboration with the agriculture and allied departments.

Issues related to nutritious cereal production and value addition were discussed with the farmers, FPOs, entrepreneurs, Agri startups, investors, exporters, agricultural scientists, NABARD and lead banks and agricultural development departments.

On this occasion, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced several awards including three first prizes of one crore rupees each as an incentive to Agri Startups participating in the Millets Innovation Challenge, while Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said, “The time has come to give Millets a respectable place in the plate of food not only in India but across the world. We have to bring forth the importance of nutritious grains to the world”.

Promotion of millets not only meets the food requirements, but will also give an opportunity to new startups to bring their products to the world. Which increases employment opportunities, especially women can engage themselves in work from millet production to processing. Today, India is the major producer of millets in the world, with Karnataka being a major contributor. Millet production is beneficial to the farmers. It requires very little water, and can be produced even on rocky land.

Under the Millet Innovation Challenge, the Finance Minister bestows Rs one crore each to Agri Startups for their distinctive contribution. Besides, awards of Rs 20 lakh are given to 15 Agri Startups and Rs 10 lakh each to 15 other Agri Startups. She also announced a fund of Rs 25 crore to the University of Agricultural Sciences, Raichur from NABARD for millet research.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has