January 2022 \ Business & Investment \ BUSINESS AND GOVERNANCE
Startup grand challenge for farm solutions

By Nivedita Khandekar

Similar is the case of Madhav Kshatriya from Hyderabad. He was one of the winners from the 2019 challenge in the category of animal nutrition. His ‘Cornext’ is credited with the introduction of disruptive technology called ‘Baled Silage’ (natural preservation and fortification of green fodder) in India to address the fodder shortage prevalent in many parts of the country. In tune with the changing times, scores of young entrepreneurs are turning towards agriculture and making it a successful enterprise by either adding value to the produce or coming up with solutions that can ease the burden on the small farmer.

For a largely agrarian country such as India - with 86 per cent farmers being small land holding farmers, it has been imperative to depend on side incomes from livestock. For various reasons over the last few decades, including erratic climatic conditions that has made farming increasingly unviable for small farmers, the practice had gone down but now, seems to have returned to a combination of farming and livestock rearing.

For their ease, for creating more opportunities for these farmers, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in partnership with Start Up India has recently launched the second edition of the Animal Husbandry StartUp Grand Challenge - to scout for innovative and commercially viable solutions to address six problems faced by the animal husbandry and dairy sector. It clearly takes inspiration from the overwhelming response received to the first edition of the challenge launched in September 2019 but this year, it has gone a step ahead.