NABARD to Launch ₹1000-crore Fund for Agri-Startups: Chairman

NABARD to Launch ₹1000-crore Fund for Agri-Startups: Chairman
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On Monday, Chairman Shaji K.V. announced that the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is set to introduce a ₹1,000-crore fund dedicated to supporting technology-driven agri-startups and rural enterprises.

This fund aims to assist startups encountering obstacles in expanding their operations due to restricted access to equity and debt instruments. Additionally, it endeavours to cultivate fresh connections within the rural ecosystem, fostering both forward and backward linkages.

“The problem is not the availability of money. About ₹22 trillion is going just for production credit. We are not sure if it is being used for production. Another ₹22 trillion needs to go for investment credit. The solution must focus on when farmers get the money, have the adequate skill to use that money for other production activities, such as processing, and get trained for it,” he said at the Startup Mahakumbh event.

As per K.V.’s remarks, startups must be cognizant of the essential technology or machinery needed, which will entail undertaking various activities. “This is where many startups can operate, and we are now trying to incubate such startups. We have already set up a ₹750-crore fund, which will be followed by another ₹1,000 crore.”

“Thee ₹1,000 crore may not be sufficient, but as a starter, it will be good. Most importantly, for pre-seed investments, we are setting up another ₹750 crore to support new ideas, which have not been tested, or where scalability is not ensured. But we need to support those ideas to welcome solutions.”

He noted that although the government has made significant efforts through initiatives such as the agri-infra fund scheme, animal husbandry infrastructure development fund, and food processing fund, the funds primarily benefit traditional farmers or established players.

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