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Agri Startups Thrive as Uttar Pradesh Govt Plans Rs 3,800 Crore Investment

The Uttar Pradesh government's investment in agri startups is expected to invigorate the agricultural sector and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the state.

Shivam Dwivedi
Agri Startups Thrive as Uttar Pradesh Govt Plans Rs 3,800 Crore Investment (Photo Source: Yogi Adityanath twitter)
Agri Startups Thrive as Uttar Pradesh Govt Plans Rs 3,800 Crore Investment (Photo Source: Yogi Adityanath twitter)

The Uttar Pradesh government has unveiled an ambitious plan to enhance the state's agricultural value by investing approximately Rs 3,800 crore in agricultural start-ups during the financial year 2023-24 (FY24).

The initiative aims to bolster various sectors including seeds, fertilizers, warehousing, soil nutrients, harvest/post-harvest crop management, and food processing units. Additionally, the scheme covers agricultural and horticultural crops along with allied farm activities such as pisciculture, sericulture, and food processing.

A senior agriculture department official revealed that the state intends to approve a minimum of five agricultural ventures and start-ups each month in all 75 districts. By streamlining the loan process, the government hopes to extend the benefits of the scheme to over 3,000 agricultural entrepreneurs and young farmers.

The funding for this endeavor will be sourced from the Centre's Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme, which focuses on investing in medium- and long-term community agricultural assets at the local level. To be eligible for a credit line from designated commercial banks, the project must have a value exceeding Rs 1 crore.

Under the scheme, beneficiaries will receive an interest subsidy of 6 percent, equally shared by the AIF and the state government. Notably, projects with a value of up to Rs 2 crore will not require collateral or guarantees during the loan application process. The official stated that the core objective was to facilitate a profitable post-harvest value chain and ensure lucrative prices for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs.

To facilitate the implementation of the scheme, the central government has signed a memorandum of understanding with nearly a dozen public sector banks, enabling them to provide loans under the AIF scheme. Agriculture serves as the backbone of Uttar Pradesh's economy, and in the 2022-23 period, the state's agricultural exports witnessed a growth of 5.5 percent, reaching approximately Rs 19,000 crore compared to Rs 18,000 crore the previous year.

These farm exports encompassed various agricultural and horticultural crops, including fruits, vegetables, food grains, and oilseeds, particularly those promoted by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

The Adityanath government has set an ambitious target of doubling rural income by adopting a multi-faceted approach that focuses on increasing farm productivity, yield, acreage, and establishing a profitable marketing chain.

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