Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ today flagged off Agri-Food Techathon at IIT-Kharagpur and laid the foundation for Agri-Business Incubation Centre. The centre aims to incubate innovative ideas in the agriculture and food technology domain for creating ‘Agri-preneures’.
This agri-food techthon will identify new ideas for startup incubation in the region and help them become successful businesses. The main objective of this event is to find new solutions to agricultural problems through technical talks by encouraging academics and encouraging young farmers, besides spreading awareness is also an important objective of this program, the IIT said in an official notice.
The two-months long national-level online technical fest at IIT-Kharagpur will have participation from over 750 university/college students, entrepreneurs, and rural youth from across the country in the age range of 20-25 years with diverse academic backgrounds. This is the first Agri-Food Techathon organized by NABARD and IIT-Kharagpur.
Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ at the launch said, “I am happy that agri-food Techathon is associated with Shastri’s ideal of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. Shastri started the Green Revolution to make India self-reliant. He believed in the powers of farmers to bring a revolution in India’s agricultural ecosystem. He believed in the strong relationship between farmers – food grains and life. ”
While laying the foundation stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Barhi, the minister also said that West Bengal is the focal point for bringing agricultural reform in India.
The IIT aims to incubate 125 entities in the next five years through Agri-Business Incubation Centre (ABIC), said the IIT-Kharagpur director. “In order to meet the food requirements of 135 crore people, we require innovation. IIT-Kharagpur has trained over 11,000 farmers in the last 10 years on various kinds of irrigation water, drip irrigation and many other ideas from this department.”
Special emphasis will be given through action-oriented research to promote climate-resilient agriculture in vulnerable districts, agricultural value chains, promote farmers’ collectives, value addition, market-linkage, and risk management; also offering expert advisory services, policy advocacy including building up of human capital in rural areas, the IIT said.