Agri grads told to be job providers instead of job seekers

Rangareddy: The National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Rajendra Nagar, played host to the second graduation ceremony of agri-startups, organized by a-IDEA, on Tuesday. A total of 43 agri-startups that underwent incubation through NAARM’s a-IDEA programs—KRISHIBOOT 1 (b), KRISHIBOOT 2.0, and KRISHIBOOT 3.0—were honored for their innovative contributions to revolutionizing the agricultural and allied sectors.

Certificates and mementos were presented to the graduating startups as a recognition of their dedication. The ceremony witnessed the presence of esteemed guests, with Govinda Rajulu Chintala, the former chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), serving as the chief guest.

Chintala encouraged agri-startups to identify practical and affordable ideas that can benefit both farmers and the general populace. He emphasized the need to focus on diverse aspects such as sugarcane and papaya cultivation, along with strategies for achieving high production and profitability. Chintala urged startups to consider the present and future needs of the world in their endeavors.

Raymond B D’Souza, the chief general manager of OFDD, NABARD, also attended the event as the guest of honor. He shared insights into the importance of ensuring that startup products are market-ready, underscoring the significance of bridging the gap between innovation and market demands.

Dr. Ravi Shankar, co-founder of Gram Paathshala, advised agri-students to become job providers rather than job seekers. He stressed the importance of addressing real-life problems faced by farmers and the general public through affordable and accessible solutions. Shankar urged entrepreneurs to prioritize small farmers, recognizing India’s vast agricultural diversity.

The presidential address was delivered by Dr. Ch Srinivasa Rao, President of a-IDEA and director of ICAR-NAARM, while the welcome address was extended by Dr. G Venkateshwarlu, Vice President of a-IDEA and Joint Director ICAR-NAARM.

Dr. Senthil Vinayagam, CEO of a-IDEA, provided an overview of the successful one-year incubation journey undertaken by the 43 startups. The startups, hailing from 13 states and spanning 12 domains such as Ag-Tech and precision farming, showcased their accomplishments.

Approximately 200 individuals attended the ceremony, including startups, students, farmers, outreach partners, ecosystem partners, mentors, banking officials, incubation center managers, investors, scientists, faculty, and officials from State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), Agri-Business Incubators (ABIs), Technology Business Incubators (TBIs), as well as employees of NAARM and a-IDEA staff.

Dr. Senthil Vinayagam and Dr. Vijay Avinashlingam played instrumental roles in the successful completion of the startup incubations at NAARM, marking a significant milestone in the journey of agricultural entrepreneurship.

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