Hyderabad: The Agri Innovation Hub (AgHub) was launched at the Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University (PJTSAU) on Monday by state agriculture minister Nirajan Reddy along with education minister Sabitha Indira Reddy and IT minister K.T. Rama Rao at the university campus in Rajendranagar. AgHub is a first of its kind innovation hub to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture.
Agricultural universities in India are recent entrants in the entrepreneurial spaces and the talent pool of agri graduates, post graduates and agricultural scientists is still in infancy in terms of exposure to the agri entrepreneurial ecosystem. Keeping in mind the interest of agri graduates and postgraduates inclined towards 'agri-preneurship' as well as the emerging opportunities in the startup ecosystem, AgHub will serve as a special purpose vehicle to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture.
Ministers @SingireddyTRS, @KTRTRS, @SabithaindraTRS formally inaugurated the Aghub - Agri Innovation Hub (@AgHub_PJTSAU) at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. pic.twitter.com/DKKE7twoH0— Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, Telangana (@MinisterKTR) August 30, 2021
Ministers @SingireddyTRS, @KTRTRS, @SabithaindraTRS formally inaugurated the Aghub - Agri Innovation Hub (@AgHub_PJTSAU) at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad. pic.twitter.com/DKKE7twoH0
The AgHub operates in a hub and spoke model, where the innovation hub, centered in the PJTSAU campus in Hyderabad supports agritech startups through an innovation-incubation-acceleration model of the startups pan-India while the rural innovation spokes in Jagtial, Warangal and Vikarabad would cater for the promotion of rural entrepreneurship and building agribusiness enterprises promoted by rural youth, women, farmers and FPOs.
These rural innovation centres would cater to the last mile delivery of innovations to the FPOs through agritech innovation pilots, capacity building of FPOs and building FPO-led enterprises for building up crop value chains in select key crops of Telangana. The agri innovation hub at PJTSAU focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem through the promotion of startups which includes sensitization, ideation, innovation grants, incubation, acceleration and seed funding. This includes a research ecosystem through the promotion of translational research to the post-graduates, PhD scholars and scientists. Rural innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem are promoted through rural entrepreneurs and FPOs.
K.T. Rama Rao emphasized the need to improve productivity and profitability of the agriculture sector as production has increased significantly. He also stated that food security is no more a challenge for India, but nutritional security is and said that since the COVID pandemic people have become more inclined towards consuming nutritional food.
Recognizing the need to foster an entrepreneurial climate in Telangana, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has granted a grant of Rs 9 crore to PJTSAU from April, 2021 for a period of five years. AgHub is a NABARD-funded incubator under its 'Rural Business Incubation Scheme' (RBIC). A dedicated team of agribusiness industry management professionals is in place to operate the AgHub with an agri-business professional. A CEO along with a team of 8-10 professionals will run this incubator.