“The government’s Fund-of-Fund (FoF) strategy has already demonstrated success with SIDBI’s flagship fund, as well as SRI. Expanding this model in new industries, (PTI)

Budget 2023: Agriculture accelerator fund to increase productivity | Mint – Mint

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To support agro startups, Nirmala Sitharaman has announced the Agriculture Accelerator Fund. It will attempt to implement cost-effective solutions to problems encountered by farmers by introducing contemporary technologies and boosting output.

Utkarsh Sinha managing director Bexley advisors a boutique investment bank firm said “The government’s Fund-of-Fund (FoF) strategy has already demonstrated success with SIDBI’s flagship fund, as well as SRI. Expanding this model in new industries, like agriculture (and hopefully manufacturing) will yield positive results and accelerate the formation of agri-focused funds and ventures.”

“Private Equity for Agriculture sector investment in India is a two-part equation; while we need smaller funds that can seed innovative technologies like hydroponics, vertical farming etc., we equally need funds capable of writing large checks that can take some of these technologies to scale. Growth and Kate stage equity capital in agriculture is missing, and this FoF could provide some impetus for that,” said Utkarsh Sinha.

Kanishk Maheshwari, Co-Founder, Primus Partners said “Agriculture Accelerator Fund is a great initiative towards mainstreaming Rural economy and scaling innovation from hinterlands of India. Learning should be drawn from implementation experience of various startup funds created earlier by the Government.”

Nilaya Varma, Co-Founder and CEO, Primus Partners said “Announcement for bringing technology into Agriculture is critical for long term economic growth, improved productivity and job creation. This ensures India and Bharat grow together. The budget objective is welcome. However, implementation is key and for this plan to be successful, we need to make sure partnerships between farmers, FPO, SHG, Agri startup and most importantly Agri research institutes and universities are ensured.”

Adarsh Sharma, Managing Director, Primus Partners said “The capital investment outlay increase by 33%, gives the right nudge to the industry ask, and shows governments strong resolve to boost private investments in the country’s infrastructure development narrative.”

Dhruv Sawhney, COO and Business Head, nurture.farm said “This is a positive and welcome move from the government, which will foster, encourage and enable entrepreneurship in the agri field. It will lead to the development of new business models and innovations that will drive digital adoption and also bring technological support and advancement for farmers in India.”

SOUMYAK BISWAS, Partner – Management Consulting, BDO India said “The Agriculture Accelerator Fund is a welcome move for the agricultural sector. It will act as a catalyst to spur growth in the agriculture tech ecosystem and address a few critical challenges across the value chain relating to input-output linkages, precision farming, ensuring traceability and quality of production, higher value addition, among others. This is not only going to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in this sector but also unlock value in the agribusiness value chain which in turn will boost profitability for the farmers and is a right step towards achieving the vision of doubling farmers’ income.”

Sanjay Chhabria, Director Nexdigm said “Agriculture Accelerator fund to be set up to encourage Agri-startups by young entrepreneurs! Agricultural credit target will be increased by 20 lakh crores. Steps to boost more jobs, ideas and entrepreneurs to bring in further growth in the agricultural sector.”

Anirudh A Damani, Artha Venture Fund – Managing Partner said “Learning about the government’s intent to set up an Agriculture Accelerator Fund is exciting. I look forward to further details on how the fund would be operated. Such a fund can provide a supportive environment that can help AgriTech startups grow faster by providing them with resources, exposure, and opportunities to succeed. Through this effort, the government can give these startups more support ranging from seed funding and mentorship programs to infrastructure subsidies and appropriate market access. This entire exercise will bolster this government’s pre-existing efforts to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in rural areas. From an Artha perspective, we are light on AgriTech, and this initiative will boost our overall sentiment to back more AgriTech startups from our funds.”


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