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Agri-Biz Idol Camps encourage and engage India’s youth in agribusiness

First prize winner Mr V Dev making a presentation on ‘Hyacinth removal device’.Ms N Kittur receiving the award from Mr Karuppanchetty.

Highlighting opportunities in agribusiness for the youth, the National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has embarked on a unique initiative called Agri-Biz Idol Camps. Aimed at reaching out to the youth and start-up entrepreneurs and to showcase the tremendous potential of agribusiness, the camps were successfully organized in five Indian cities, namely Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore and Anand from 5 to 9 May.

The camps helped participants understand the various business incubation services offered by NAIP’s Business Planning and Development (BPD) Units. The BPDs primarily act as an agriculture incubation center helping start-ups or entrepreneurs foraying into the agri-business to flourish by providing comprehensive business solutions.

At the camp in Hyderabad on 5 May, start-ups and agri-students were provided with an ideal platform to pitch their business ideas and develop new agri-ventures. Thirty-four students from the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM) took part in the event along with representatives from five industries.

A total of 12 ideas were pitched at the event, of which two best presentations have been shortlisted for the Agri-Innovation Conclave to be held in New Delhi on 18-19 May. The top two ideas shortlisted are ‘Innovative hyacinth removal device’ by Mr Godasu Narsimhu and Mr Vasu Dev; and ‘Hydroponics based vertical farming’ by Ms Nazhat Kittur and Mr Shelke Sagar.

Present on the occasion were Dr SL Goswami, Director, NAARM; Dr Kalpana Sastry, Joint Director, NAARM; Mr SM Karuppanchetty, Chief Operating Officer, Agri-Business Incubation Program (ABI), ICRISAT; Brigadier Ganeshan from Palle Srujana (an NGO); and Mr Rakesh Reddy, Director, Vishvawani Management Institute.

The BPDs cover the entire spectrum of agribusiness including agriculture, horticulture, veterinary and livestock, fisheries and marine products, animal husbandry, crop production, food processing and agri-inputs, agri-engineering, textile and industrial processing, and postharvest management. ICRISAT’s ABI is currently extending its handholding and mentoring services to the 22 BPDs set up under the World Bank-funded NAIP.

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