Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development 

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Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development

Ministry of Agriculture launched a new Scheme named Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development under the revamped Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to promote Agri-entrepreneurship and agribusiness by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem. Under the scheme, grants are provided for start-ups to build on their business ideas and for those who are already in business and want to scale up, and the release of funds is based on the achievement of milestones. The present article briefs the Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development.

The objective of the scheme

The key objective of the scheme is to contribute directly and indirectly to enhance the income of farmers by providing employment opportunities to young entrepreneurs.

Note on Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

The Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is an important scheme of the Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), aimed at strengthening infrastructure in agriculture and allied areas to promote Agri-entrepreneurship and agribusiness by providing financial support to entrepreneurs.

Click here to know more about the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana

Prescribed Authority

The Nodal Division of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – RAFTAAR in Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare will be responsible for governance and overall management of the scheme.

Components of the scheme

The components of the Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development are as follows:

  • Seed Stage Funding as grant-in-aid to Startups
  • Agripreneurship Orientation
  • Idea/ Pre-Seed Stage Funding

Seed Stage Funding as grant-in-aid to Startups

This seed-stage funding will be available to startups who are incubated at the RKVY-RAFTAAR-Agribusiness Incubators.

Financial Assistance

Under this, financial assistance of a maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs will be provided to potential startups that have a minimum viable product (MVP) based on innovative solutions, processes, products, services, and business models in the agriculture and allied sector.

The applicant entrepreneur will be provided funds as per the genuine requirements and as per appraisal/evaluation of their business plans by the RAFTAAR Selection & Monitoring Committee and the decision of the RAFTAAR Selection & Monitoring Committee in this regard will be final.

Objectives

  • To ensure timely seed support to deserving entrepreneurs within R-ABIs.
  • To enable the translation of minimum viable product (MVP) to the marketable stage and scale up the product and business
  • To provide a platform for faster experimentation and modification in their approaches or minimum viable product (MVP) based on innovative solutions, processes, products, services, business models, etc. for scaling up.

Eligibility Criteria

  • All entrepreneurs of an R-ABI will be eligible for this funding based on consistent performance evaluated by R-ABI Incubation Committee.
  • The startup should be a registered legal entity in India with a minimum of two months of residency at the R-ABI.
  • The recipient should be DIIPT Recognized startup. This support is not applicable for Indian Subsidiaries of MNCs/foreign companies.

Note: A startup supported once will not be eligible for applying for the subsequent round of seed support to any R-ABIs

The pattern of Funding Support and Release of Funds

Under the scheme, it is proposed to support around 500 startups during the scheme period. A maximum of 20 startups per R-ABI will be supported under the scheme. Each selected startup will be provided a maximum limit of Rs. 25 Lakh as a grant-in-aid under the scheme. For ensuring Entrepreneurs/private participation in the program, the grant will be released in instalments.

  • The first instalment of 40 % of the sanctioned project for seed support will be released after signing of the agreement between the incubator/ RABI and the entrepreneur.
  • The second instalment of 40% will be released to the entrepreneur after the recommendation of RIC based on the performance and achievement of milestone and after utilization of 80% of the previously released amount and receipt of provisional UC of 80% of already released funds
  • The third instalment of 20% will be released to entrepreneurs by the Nodal Division through R-ABIs after the recommendation of RIC based on their performance and achievement of the milestone as well as after utilization of 80% of the previously released amount and receipt of provisional UC of 80% of already released funds.

Other Features

After two months, market access will be facilitated by the R-ABI and The R-ABI will also organize a Demo Day for Investor pitch to showcase the matured product of the entrepreneur to investors for further facilitation of funding.

Agripreneurship Orientation

The Agripreneurship Orientation program is introduced to provide an opportunity for students to work on their innovative ideas by imparting two months of training cum hands-on internship with other startups at their respective R-ABI. After successful completion of the two months orientation program, the R-ABI will facilitate the incorporation of entities for all viable business ideas. After this program, these startups will be eligible for Idea/Pre-Seed Stage Funding.

Objectives

  • To nurture Agri-entrepreneurs by providing training cum internship with other startups to provide the practical, technical, and business insights
  • To create and nurture a pipeline of Agri-entrepreneurs for incubators
  • To make pursuing entrepreneurship related to innovative ideas an attractive career option among other available career choices

Eligibility Criteria

  • The recipient should propose one innovative idea based on technology, service, business platforms, etc. for increasing efficiency in agriculture and allied sector:
    • Agro-processing
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Digital agriculture
    • Farm mechanization
    • Waste to wealth
    • Dairy and fisheries
  • The applicants are expected to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations full time.
  • The startup should have an initial business plan or proposal for the idea they intend to pursue.

The pattern of Funding Support and Release of Funds

Under the Agripreneurship Orientation, a stipend of Rs 10,000 per month will be granted to these interns for two months during the hands-on training period by the incubators from the Agribusiness Incubator (RABI) recurring grant.

Idea/ Pre-Seed Stage Funding

As part of this scheme, a subsistence grant of a maximum of Rs. 5 lakhs will be provided to interns who have completed the initial two months of the Agri-entrepreneurship orientation program and are aspiring to convert the innovative idea based on technology, service, business platforms, etc. into a prototype/ product.

Startups supported for pre-seed stage findings will be eligible for obtaining the next stage of Seed Funding after evaluation.

Objectives

  • To develop an innovative idea based on technology, service, business platforms into prototype/ product, services/ platforms and launching of a business based on that
  • To provide an opportunity to budding agri-entrepreneurs/students for venturing into the agribusiness arena as well as for minimizing risks involved in businesses based on innovation
  • To attract and retain a large number of enthusiastic and skilled youth in agriculture
  • To create a pipeline of innovative startups for incubators

Eligibility Criteria

  • After successful completion of the initial two months of the agri-entrepreneurship orientation program, interns will qualify for getting Idea or Pre-Seed Stage Funding.
  • The recipient should be registered for the incubation program at the Agribusiness Incubator (RABI) for the entire duration of Idea/ Pre-Seed Stage Funding.
  • The applicant needs to register his/her company before the release of the grant or the startup should be a DPIIT recognized startups

The Pattern of Funding Support and Release of Funds

The selected startup will be provided with a maximum limit of Rs 5 lakh as grant in aid under the scheme for working on the idea to convert it into a marketable product. The amount of fund will be released in two instalments as mentioned below:

The first instalment of 60 % of the amount of the sanctioned project for support under Idea Stage Funding will be released after signing of the agreement between the incubator/ R-ABI and the entrepreneur

The final instalment of 40% will be released to the Entrepreneur through R-ABIs after the recommendation of RIC and RC based on the performance and milestone achieved as well as after utilization of 80% of the previously released amount

Important features of the Scheme

The features of the Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development are as follows. The funding is extremely helpful amid the COVID-19 times

Knowledge Partners (KPs) as Centers of Excellence

Department of Agriculture Cooperation &Farmers Welfare has selected 5 Knowledge Partners (KPs) as Centers of Excellence under the Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development

  • National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad,
  • National Institute of Agricultural Marketing(NIAM) Jaipur,
  • Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Pusa, New Delhi,
  • University of Agriculture Science, Dharwad, Karnataka and
  • Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat, Assam

Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs)

24 RKVY-RAFTAAR Agribusiness Incubators (R-ABIs) from across the country have also been appointed for the efficient implementation of the scheme. The funds will be released in instalments, and the selected startups will be trained for two months at 29 agribusiness incubation centres spread across India.

Training for Startups

Based on a rigorous process of selection through various stages and training of two months, the final list of start-ups that are to be funded through grants-in-aid will be finalized.

Training on technical, finance, intellectual property, statutory compliance issues, etc. will be provided. Mentoring of start-ups through monitoring of milestones and timelines is part of the program.

Application Procedure Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development

Proposals for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development scheme will be invited from the eligible publicly funded existing Agribusiness Incubators or new incubators by Nodal Division RKVY-RAFTAAR in DAC&FW through advertisements in newspapers and websites.

RKVY-RAFTAAR_Ent-40

The Proposal (two hard copies + soft version in MS word document) in the prescribed format along with the necessary enclosures will be submitted by the Head of the Host Institute.

The applicant needs to send the proposal to the following address:

The Joint Secretary, Nodal Division of RKVY-RAFTAAR Scheme Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi-110001 Telefax: (011) 23382444 or send the proposal to E-mail: [email protected]

Post by Renu Suresh

Renu is experience content writer specialised in compliances and company rules.