Jindal Stainless Limited along with ANEW Holdings (Tokyo, Japan), a Japanese Venture Capital, launched an lndo - Japanese Accelerator Program for Agriculture Start-ups at the Co -working space housed at the office of Jindal Stainless Limited, Gurugram on today, 8th November 2017. The Accelerator Program provides start-ups with a platform for networks and collaborations with Japanese companies, through an intensive program led by experienced mentors from Japan, USA and India. Mr. Yuji Fujinaga, CEO ANEW Holding Inc. Japan presented program on “ The Way Forward” today.
The initiative is a three months long Accelerator Program for Start-ups, selected after a very intense due diligence process with only a few being selected for the program from a long list of applicants. The strategic start ups after completion of the program may get funding from seed stage investors and venture partners from 3Lines Venture Fund (USA) and Rockies Venture Club (USA) and other major corporations from India, Japan and other countries. The goal is to promote disruptive AgriTech Start-ups across the globe, create social impact through innovation and increase the income of farmers across India. The projects being nurtured are totally innovative and vary from drones technology to water irrigation systems to making machines for spraying fertilizers to a host of other areas.
The Accelerator program is a follow up of Jindal Stainless Limited CSR Project - 'Project Krishi Unnati', which was launched in collaboration with CII on 8th June 2017 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The aim of Project Krishi Unnati is to double farmers' income in the next five years with the initial start from Jajpur district and then scale up to eight other districts in the State and across different locations across the country.
Krishi Unnati, as the name suggests relates to building capacities for farmers, despite the fact that Jindal Stainless Limited has nothing directly connected to agriculture, yet the Company prides itself through this project to engage proactively with farmers in a sustainable manner. Such an intervention will directly contribute toward sustainable communities not only from a perspective of business opportunities, but from the stand point of doing 'Social Good' and providing farmers market access and encourage them to adopt resilient climate change practices.
The endeavor of the project is to reach scale through partnerships. While good practices can be jointly demonstrated by the Government and private sector, scale can only be assured though Government support. It is also a matter of fact that the next generation is losing interest in farming and looks for alternative options. Such a project will hopefully arrest the problem and reverse migration.
As part of the Krishi Unnati project, efforts are being made to increase the farmer's incomes through a structured process in four stages as follows:
Stage 1 - Strengthen existing value change
Stage 2 - Shift to higher value crops
Stage 3 - Diversify Income sources
Stage 4 - Conserve and manage natural resources.
The Accelerator program at the 'Incubation Centre', at Gurugram and subsequently at Bhubaneswar with practical orientation of the startups at laboratories across intervention areas is a major effort in doubling farmer's incomes. The startups will get an opportunity to develop farmer need based technology, which will bring down input costs and raise productivity levels. The equipment so manufactured or the practices developed after field trials can be replicated in different geographies and finally the manufacturing process will yield the desired levels when markets increase and the project goes to scale.