Innovations by agri start-ups to overcome global agriculture challenges: India’s union Minister, Suresh Prabhu

Mr Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India today said that innovations and new ideas will be essential to overcome the challenges arising in the agriculture sector globally.

Speaking at the ‘International Conference & Awards for Innovations by Agri Startups’ organised by FICCI, Mr Prabhu said that to promote new innovations and ideas, start-up companies in agriculture sector should be encouraged. “We have to produce more but there is a threat to existing products and this is going to be an extremely important issue. Agri innovation is the most important innovation the world would need in the field of agriculture at various levels and in different forms”, he emphasised.

He said start-ups could use technology and bring innovations in areas such as making land and soil more fertile; producing agriculture from waste water; minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides and better productivity.

Mr. Prabhu also released the FICCI-PwC Knowledge Report on ‘Agri-Start-ups: Innovations for boosting the Future of Agriculture in India’ and also gave away the  ‘Business Excellence Awards for Innovations by Agri Start-ups’.

Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, highlighted the strong relationship between India and France especially in the agriculture sector. He said that France has already started using hi-end technologies like drones, artificial intelligence, big data etc. to ensure increase the productivity and invited Indian companies to invest in France.

Mr T R Kesavan, Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & President and COO, TAFE Ltd. said that areas such as farm to the farm head; farm at storages and storage to markets were crucial areas where agri start-ups can use innovations. It was imperative for start-ups to adopt sustainable business models to help the farm sector.

Mr Pravesh Sharma, Adviser- FICCI Agriculture Division and CEO Kamatan Farm Tech Pvt. Ltd. stressed the need for creating an ecosystem for the sustainability of start-ups and emphasised the need for using disruptive technologies in the agriculture sector.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at

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