Budget 2023: India Mulls Low-interest Credit, New Tax Incentives for Agrotech Startups

Come Budget 2023 Agrotech startups in India are in for some good policy reforms to accelerate sectoral growth. The Government of India has reportedly thinking to introducing new action plan to support startups working in sectors such as AI, ML, remote sensing, big data and blockchain, among others that would help accelerate the country’s agricultural industry.

The policies that are likely to be shaped will enable attractive incentives to the agriculture sector that can be utilised for building facilities such as micro-cold storages and addressing supply chain problems

In December Agri Minister Shri Tomar told that with the aim of further increasing investment in agriculture, the Government of India has allocated a special package of over Rs 1.5 lakh crore for agriculture and allied sectors under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Work on these provisions has started, including the Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. Once these are implemented, the Indian agriculture sector will be rejuvenated.

So, far the Centre’s ‘Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme’ has invested a total of INR 118.65 Cr in nearly 800 startups.

India further aims to launch funds to offer low-interest credit and tax incentives to agritech startups in the forthcoming budget.

Besides, the Govt of India will also aid startups focussed in varied sectors including AI, ML, remote sensing, big data, blockchain, IoT, geographic information system technology and dronetech that would help transform the country’s agricultural sector.

According to the Economic Times report quoted sources saying, “These agritech startups can build a more resilient agricultural ecosystem, support farmers with small holdings and impart knowledge about best practices. Therefore, they need to be encouraged.”

Further, the government also looks to form policies to offer incentives to agricultural space that will be utilised for building facilities such as micro-cold storages and addressing supply chain problems such as increased wastage, inadequate logistics, lack of infrastructure, among others.

Shri Tomar said that a large number of women are also working in the agriculture sector in India. To increase their number and for their continuous progress, the Union Ministry of Rural Development is also running a scheme for the empowerment of women farmers, in which the Ministry of Agriculture is partnering. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture spends a certain part of its budget for the upliftment of women farmers.

India aims to give bigger thrust to Agrotech Sector in the forthcoming budget 2023

The above moves are part of the Centre’s push to develop agriculture and related sectors and consequently improve yield, quality, profitability and efficiency of the said sectors.

‘Innovation and Agri-entrepreneurship Development Programme’ an initiative by the Government of India has infused a total of INR 118.65 Cr in nearly 800 startups that are shoring up the agriculture space of the country. These startups are mainly working in the field of AI, IoT, blockchain and information and communication technology.

The news flows after the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar launched INR 500 Cr agritech-focused accelerator programme for Indian startups in the previous month.

Moreover, the minister revealed more initiatives including specified committee, division and panel for agritech startups, a single-window clearance platform for agritech players, creation of a marketing linkage platform to connect with agriculture space, forming a database of agritech startups and organising agritech conclaves formed by the Centre to uplift agriculture sector.

He further mentioned that the nation is presently home to more than 2000 agritech startups and aims to increase the number of startups to 10K in near future.

In the previous month, it was announced that the Centre infused INR 6.25 Cr in 66 homegrown agritech startups to incentivise the consumption of millets in the nation. Alongside this, another 25 agritech startups were also shortlisted for funding by the central government.

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