Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) is an important scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India aimed at strengthening infrastructure to promote agripreneurship and agribusiness by providing financial support and nurturing the incubation ecosystem. A new component under the revamped scheme Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sector Rejuvenation (RKVY-RAFTAAR) has been launched in 2018-19. RKVY-RAFTAAR supports agribusiness incubation by tapping innovations and technologies for venture creation in agriculture that includes Agri-Biotech; Agriculture/Horticulture/Natural Resource Management; Sustainable Agriculture/Organic farming; Animal Husbandry, Dairying, Fishery; Agri-Input tools and technologies, Micro Irrigation, Farm Mechanization and Agri Engineering, Precision Farming; Harvesting and Post-Harvest Processing; Food Processing; Supply Chain Management, Farm Retailing; Agri Extension Education; Internet of Things (IoT), ICT and Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture; Waste to Wealth, Secondary Agriculture; Agri Clinics & Farm Health services, Cotton and Other Natural Fibres, Nanotechnology Application in Agriculture, Green Composites, Paper, Pulp and Packaging etc. In this process, incubation facilities and expertise already available with participating academic, technical, management and R&D institutions in the country shall be utilized on an individual or collective basis to harness synergies. ICAR-CIRCOT has been bestowed with an incubator namely CIRCOT-R-ABI under this scheme in January 2019.
ICAR-Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, established in 1924, a premier constituent institute of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, is engaged in carrying out basic and strategic research in processing of cotton & its agro-residues, development of value added products and quality assessment of cotton. CIRCOT has diversified its ambit to cover other natural fibers such as Banana, Coconut etc., and started pioneering work in nanotechnology and its application in textile finishing, natural fiber based composites, and environmentally benign technology for processing cotton textiles. The institute is also working on value addition to cotton biomass through particle board preparation, compost making, nanocellulose production, cottonseed oil etc. to provide additional income to cotton growers. CIRCOT is an ISO 9001:2015 certified institute and is an accredited laboratory under NABL (ISO 17025:2005), functioning as Referral Laboratory for cotton textile. With an established reputation of nine decades amongst textile industries, ginning industries and cotton farmers as a renowned technology developer, ICAR-CIRCOT is skilfully catalyzing the transfer of its technologies from lab to startups, entrepreneurs and farmers through the agribusiness incubation center.
Seed Stage Funding (SSF) as Grant in aid to Startups of RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme; in which this seed stage funding will be available to incubatees of CIRCOT-R-ABI. Under this financial assistance of maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs will be granted to potential startups that have a minimum viable product (MVP) based on innovative solutions/processes/products/services/business model in agriculture and allied sectors. The amount of Rs. 25 lakhs is the upper limit of the seed fund assistance. The applicant incubatees would be provided funds as per their genuine requirements and as per appraisal/evaluation of their business plan by the RKVY-RAFTAAR Selection & Monitoring Committee (RC) and the decision of the RC in this regard will be final. The RC will not be bound to give any reason in case an application for seed loan is rejected.
This support will assist the incubatees to launch their products/services/business platforms etc into the market and help them to the scale-up their operational as well as to attain business viability at faster pace. This support will also facilitate them to attract investments from angel/venture capitalists or taking loan from commercial bank, financial institutions for further scaling up of their business operations.
With respect to above, a call for application is invited from students/youth of India having an innovative ideas in technological solutions/processes/products/services/business platforms etc. and want to start an agri-business venture for Seed Stage Funding as Grant in aid to startups under RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme at CIRCOT-R-ABI, Mumbai.