Monday, January 23, 2023

India To Have 10,000 Agri startups By 2030, Says Investor Hemendra Mathur: Livelihoods India Summit 2023

* Co-hosted by NITI Aayog, the summit is currently in its 13th edition, and has become a national level event aiming to build an ecosystem around the poor 

ACCESS Development Services, a national level livelihood promoting organisation, along with NITI Aayog hosted the Livelihoods India Summit at Le Meridien, New Delhi. 

Currently, in its thirteenth year, the second day of the event saw attendance from prominent speakers such as Mr Charanjit Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, Dr Subhransu S Acharya, Chief General Manager, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), Ms S Divyadharshini, Managing Director, Tamil Corporation for Development of Women and Chief Executive Officer of Vaazhndhu Kattuvom Project, Tamil Nadu Government, Bijan B Paul, Former Director, Weavers’ Service Centre, Office of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund & Co-founder, ThinkAg along with other dignitaries.

During a session on ‘Digitalisation of Agriculture - Empowering Smallholders through Digital Transformations’ - industry expert Hemendra Mathur, Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund & Co-founder, ThinkAg highlighted that the improvement in remote monitoring of agriculture through geo-tagging and geo-mapping will help farmers to devise and implement highly effective farming techniques.

Talking in reference to the farmer communication methods, he further added that , “I see thousands of WhatsApp communities among farmers. In my opinion, more than FPO, the aggregation of farmers is driven by WhatsApp, the number of data shared is amazing, and the number of tractors sold through WhatsApp is more than any other medium. Farmers are very friendly and ready for digitization. Farmers are three things: voice, vernacular and video, you have to play on these pillars for farmers to adopt something. ”

The session which also saw participation from other panelists such as Emmanuel Murray, Investment Director, Caspian, Siddharth Chaturvedi, Senior Program Officer, Agriculture Development, Asia, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner, Omnivore also discussed in length the complexity of Indian agriculture, and the need for a single policy change or technology shift required for moving the country toward its dual goal of raising income for smallholder farmers and continuing to strengthen the competitiveness of Indian agriculture. 

The key themes that were explored through the session are: 

Digitization of payments in the agricultural ecosystem 

Enabling improved credit underwriting through the digitalization of farm and farmer-level data

Improved risk mitigation of the negative impacts of climate change and fluctuations in market pricing for smallholder farmers through innovations in the digital ecosystem

Reduction in overheads through improved price realization offered by digital platforms and strategies for driving the adoption of digital technologies at the last mile

Livelihoods India was initiated in 2010 as a national-level initiative to unite diverse stakeholders on a single platform to discuss critical issues that impede and afflict the livelihoods of the poor. ACCESS Development Services set up this platform to understand and assess the key issues and challenges the poor face in sustaining their livelihoods and microenterprises and to craft a vision and strategy for moving them from subsistence to sustainable levels. Since then, the platform has evolved significantly and has emerged as an essential forum for stakeholders to meet, share experiences, discuss issues, assess and analyze the policy environment and build consensus on strategies that will deliver sustainable outcomes.

About ACCESS Development Services: 

ACCESS Development Services is a global catalyst to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. By accelerating collaborative action with global, regional, and local stakeholders, ACCESS is driving financial resilience and security as key outcomes. Set-up in March 2006, with support from the Department of International Development (Govt of UK), ACCESS is structured uniquely to build evidence, create models and align thought leadership in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations, Governments, Private Sector, Donors and Multilateral / Bilateral Agencies.

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