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Kerala Startups Shying Away from Agriculture

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has a robust startup community but its presence in agriculture sector is abysmally low, opined Dr Archana Mukherjee, director of ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI).

She was addressing the GES-Villgro Unconvention Speaker series on ‘Agritech Matters: Feed Billions by Harvesting Technology’ held at the ICAR-CTCRI here on Monday. She said, “Kerala’s startup ecosystem is one of the best in the country holding over 1000 startups. But their reach in agriculture sector is very limited.”

Mukherjee said innovative technologies like cassava bio-pesticides and vertical farming with anti-oxidant rich sweet potato developed by her institution offers golden opportunities for entrepreneurs in Kerala to develop environmentally-friendly and sustainable businesses.

Organised by the Villgro Innovation Foundation, Chennai, in collaboration with ICAR– CTCRI, the programme focused on creating sustainable enterprises utilising technological advancements in agriculture.

Srinivasa Ramanujam, Agri-Business Practice Lead of Villgro, said the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held last year in Hyderabad has set an agenda for setting up sustainable agricultural enterprises using innovative technologies.

An innovative agri startup entrepreneur, K S Satish, CEO, Flybird Innovations shared his experiences at the function.Over 70 agricultural entrepreneurs, academicians, students and farmers who participated in this event interacted with the experts.

T N Shivananda, principal scientist of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru, said his institution could develop an array of conservation and women-friendly technologies that helped in the formation of over 20 agri startups.


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