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IIM-J Srinagar Off-Campus holds innovators meet

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IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

Institute’s incubation centre ThinkIN to commence work in Srinagar soon

Srinagar, Aug 27: Indian Institute of Management Jammu (IIM-J), Srinagar Off-campus organised an innovators Meet at their Nowgam campus here.

IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

 

The program was organized in association with Grassroots Innovations and Agumemtation Network (GIAN), Gujarat. The program was attended by more than 20 innovators from different parts of the valley, who shared their experiences and challenges in a session that was also attended by scholars, researchers and faculty members from institutes like Harvard University, Zhejiang University, NIT Srinagar, IIM Jammu, GIAN and Kashmir University.

IIM Jammu started its off-campus in Srinagar recently and the campus is set up with an aim of broad outreach and a focus on corporate training, innovations and Entrepreneurship in the Kashmir region.

The objective of this in-house discussion was to facilitate the bottom-up narrative about local innovations. The structural and institutional challenges peripheral innovators face while scaling up their innovations were identified and documented. To nurture local innovations both from the formal and informal settings, it was agreed that a robust actor-sector collaboration will be forged.

In his welcome and concluding address, Chairman IIM Jammu’s Srinagar Off-campus Dr Muqbil Burhan assured the innovation stakeholders of the valley that IIM Jammu will offer a strong platform for local innovations, traditional industries and outstanding traditional knowledge holders and play an important role in creating an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Further, he said that IIM has set up an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre at Srinagar and Jammu campuses with the sole objective of nurturing innovation and startups. The centre has also set up a business incubator with the name “ThinkIN” for startups and is going to be functional this year with the first batch of incubatees.

Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who is currently working as an innovation researcher at Zhejiang University China, also spoke on the occasion and stressed understanding the bottom-up narrative from innovators which is a must for crafting any innovation policy. Referring to the innovation policy history, he said that the top-down policy directionality has not helped local innovations. The local narrative about innovations is always wanting. For building a robust innovation system in Kashmir he mentioned that innovators perspectives are very important.

Dr Shabir Hassan, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School while congratulating local innovations, IIM Jammu and Gian spoke about the importance of organising discussions and discourses on value-based innovations and entrepreneurship for nurturing innovation culture in Kashmir. He agreed to work with the local innovations for further value addition and scaling up. Appreciating the idea of creating innovation clubs, he suggested that local innovation stops should be set up in local universities and enterprises.

Syed Nadeem, Gian coordinator, referred to local success stories documented by his organisation from the last ten years. He said that local innovations fail to create meaningful impact precisely because of institutional hurdles. Creating pro-innovation institutions and the right incentives he believed would usher an innovation culture in Kashmir.

The meet was also attended by Prof Saad from NIT Srinagar who gave his valuable suggestion to the innovators and suggested collaboration supporting a better ecosystem for innovations in the valley. Various successful Entrepreneurs from the valley like Sheikh Iqbal (Founder, Tashawur), Ufair Aejaz (CEO & Founder KMTTI), Abdul Hamid Bhat (CEO Raheem Greens) also attended the event and interacted with the innovators on the occasions.

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Startups

Administrative Council approves J&K Startup Policy 2024-27

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J&K Startup Policy

BK News

JAMMU: The Administrative Council (AC) which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj  Sinha, Thursdat approved  J&K  Startup Policy  2024-27  in supersession to the Startup Policy notified in the year 2018.

The policy has the objective of setting up 2000 new startups in Jammu & Kashmir in the next 5 years, according to an official statement.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor; Atal Dulloo, Chief Secretary; Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor attended the meeting.

The Government of Jammu &Kashmir will set up a Venture Capital Fund of Rs 250 Crores and will infuse maximum of Rs. 25 Crores as an initial fund to this venture capital fund.

The venture capital fund so created shall invest primarily in recognized start-ups of Jammu & Kashmir. The Department shall work out detailed modalities for the creation of venture funds and its usage in consultation with the Finance Department.

The department may also work out a mechanism to facilitate the allotment of land to startups having good potential for growth. There is also a provision of one-time assistance as  Seed Funding up to Rs.20 lakhs, in 4 equal instalments,  to be provided to startups recognized by JKEDI  which is a nodal agency for startups. For seed funding, there is the capping of  25 startups per year which is a decision based upon available budget and desire to support a manageable number of start-ups effectively.

The Government is committed to establishing 2000 startups in three years but by providing seed funding to a smaller number of carefully selected start-ups,  the Government can prioritize quantity over quality for long-term economic growth. This will also ensure that the resources are utilized efficiently. The budgetary support for the implementation of the Startup Policy for a period of three years will be Rs.  39.60 Crores.

To nurture and inspire the entrepreneurial talent of J&K by creating a vibrant and robust start-up eco-system in the UT. The Government felt that there is a need to re-furbish the existing start-up policy issued in the year 2018 and bring a new policy suited to meet model challenges in this sector in the UT of J&K.

The feedback received from various stakeholder consultations by the Industries and Commerce Department, the need was felt to strengthen the incubation and acceleration eco-system for startups which has been addressed in the current policy.

 The implementation of this scheme in UT shall be monitored by a High Powered Committee headed by the Chief Secretary and implemented by a  Task Force Committee headed by the Administrative Secretary, Industries & Commerce.

The policy provides for providing entrepreneurship facilities to students, and women and support to the entrepreneurs through Government/ Private/ High Net worth individuals for setting up of startups.

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AgriBiz

Vegetable Science: A Potential Area for Startups in J&K

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Vegetable Science

Dr Asima Amin     Dr Baseerat Afroza      Naveed Hamid

In a world grappling with the challenges of population growth, environmental sustainability, and a shifting focus towards healthier lifestyles, the potential of vegetable science in startups emerges as a beacon of transformative innovation. The intersection of agriculture, technology, and health has given rise to a myriad of opportunities for entrepreneurs to revolutionize the way we cultivate, consume, and benefit from vegetables.

As global consciousness veers towards sustainable practices and healthier food choices, startups delving into vegetable science are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our food systems. This introduction seeks to explore the diverse avenues where startups can harness the power of vegetable science to address pressing issues such as food security, nutritional health, and environmental impact.

From leveraging cutting-edge technologies in agriculture to developing novel plant-based food products, the potential applications of vegetable science are vast and impactful. This exploration encompasses not only the traditional aspects of farming and crop management but also delves into the realms of biotechnology, food technology and sustainable business practices.

We will delve into specific domains where startups can thrive, exploring how innovation in vegetable science can drive change in agribusiness, food technology, health and wellness, sustainability, and more. The goal is to unveil the untapped potential that lies within the realm of vegetable science, inspiring entrepreneurs, investors, and stakeholders to contribute to a more sustainable, nutritious, and equitable future.

As we embark on this journey through the fertile landscape of vegetable science in startups, envision a world where the humble vegetable becomes a catalyst for transformative change, not only in our diets but in the very fabric of how we approach agriculture, technology, and the well-being of our planet.

STARTUP AREAS

Vegetable science can play a significant role in startups across various sectors, ranging from agriculture and food technology to health and sustainability. Here are some potential areas where vegetable science can contribute to startup innovations:

  1. Ag-Tech Startups:

    • Precision Farming: Utilize technology, sensors and data analytics to optimize vegetable cultivation, ensuring efficient resource use and higher yields.
    • Vertical Farming: Develop indoor farming solutions using controlled environments, allowing year-round vegetable production in urban areas.
    • Biotechnology: Explore genetic modification and breeding techniques to enhance the nutritional content, disease resistance,and overall quality of vegetables.
  2. Food Technology:

    • Plant-Based Alternatives: Create innovative plant-based products using vegetables to meet the growing demand for vegetarian and vegan options.
    • Food Preservation: Develop technologies for extending the shelf life of vegetables, reducing food waste, and ensuring freshness during transportation.
    • Nutritional Enhancement: Explore methods to fortify vegetables with additional nutrients to address specific health concerns.
  3. Health and Wellness:

    • Functional Foods: Develop vegetable-based products with specific health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant or immune-boosting properties.
    • Nutraceuticals: Investigate the medicinal properties of vegetables and create supplements or health products based on their natural compounds.
  4. Sustainability:

    • Circular Economy: Implement sustainable practices in vegetable production, such as recycling agricultural waste, utilizing organic fertilizers, and adopting eco-friendly packaging.
    • Zero-Waste Solutions: Develop technologies to utilize every part of vegetables, minimizing waste and creating by-products for various applications.
  5. Smart Farming and IoT:

    • Smart Sensors: Integrate sensors to monitor soil conditions, water levels, and plant health, allowing farmers to make data-driven decisions for optimized crop management.
    • IoT in Supply Chain: Implement IoT technologies to track and monitor vegetables throughout the supply chain, ensuring quality, reducing losses, and enhancing traceability.
  6. Education and Consulting:

    • Agribusiness Consulting: Startups can provide consultancy services to farmers on adopting modern vegetable cultivation techniques, sustainable practices, and technology integration.
    • Educational Platforms: Develop online platforms to educate farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers about the latest advancements in vegetable science, sustainable agriculture, and healthy eating.
  7. Community and Social Impact:

    • Community Gardens: Startups can facilitate community-based vegetable gardens, promoting local produce, community engagement, and sustainable agriculture practices.
    • Social Enterprises: Combine vegetable science with social impact by addressing issues like food insecurity, promoting fair trade, and supporting local farmers.

IMPACT OF STARTUPS IN VEGETABLE SCIENCE

The potential of vegetable science in startups offers a range of benefits that extend beyond economic success. These ventures can positively impact various sectors and address pressing global challenges. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Sustainable Agriculture:

    • Resource Efficiency: Startups can develop technologies and practices that optimize resource use, such as water, fertilizers, and land, contributing to sustainable and environmentally friendly agriculture.
    • Reduced Environmental Impact: By promoting organic farming, minimizing chemical pesticide use, and adopting eco-friendly practices, vegetable science startups can contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of agriculture.
  2. Innovation in Crop Management:

    • Increased Yields: Precision farming technologies and genetic modifications can lead to higher crop yields, addressing the growing demand for food in a world with an expanding population.
    • Disease Resistance: Genetic modifications can enhance the resistance of vegetables to pests and diseases, reducing the reliance on chemical pesticides and promoting healthier crops.
  3. Health and Nutrition:

    • Improved Nutritional Content: Biotechnological advancements can be harnessed to enhance the nutritional content of vegetables, providing consumers with healthier and more nutrient-rich food options.
    • Functional Foods: Startups focusing on functional foods can contribute to improved public health by developing vegetable-based products with specific health benefits.
  4. Economic Opportunities:

    • Job Creation: The growth of vegetable science startups can lead to job creation across various sectors, including agriculture, technology, research, and product development.
    • Market Expansion: Innovations in vegetable-based products can open up new markets and cater to the increasing demand for sustainable and plant-based alternatives.
  5. Food Security and Accessibility:

    • Year-Round Production: Vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture enable year-round vegetable production, reducing dependence on seasonal harvests and improving food security.
    • Localized Farming: Community-based initiatives and startups focused on local farming contribute to localized food production, reducing the need for extensive transportation and storage.
  6. Technological Advancements:

    • Smart Farming: Integration of technology in agriculture, such as smart sensors and IoT devices, leads to more efficient and data-driven farming practices, improving overall productivity.
    • Traceability and Transparency: Technologies for supply chain traceability enhance transparency in the food production process, building consumer trust and meeting the demand for ethically sourced products.
  7. Community Engagement and Social Impact:

    • Community Empowerment: Initiatives like community gardens and social enterprises create opportunities for community engagement, fostering a sense of empowerment and ownership among local populations.
    • Addressing Food Insecurity: Socially focused startups can play a role in addressing food insecurity by promoting sustainable and affordable vegetable production methods.
  8. Education and Awareness:

    • Knowledge Dissemination: Educational platforms and consulting services contribute to disseminating knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices, technology adoption, and healthy eating habits.
    • Empowering Farmers: Agribusiness consulting services empower farmers with the knowledge and tools to adopt modern practices, improving their livelihoods and the sustainability of their operations.

Conclusion

The potential of vegetable science in startups holds tremendous promise and presents exciting opportunities for innovation, sustainability, and societal impact. As the world grapples with challenges such as food security, environmental sustainability, and public health, leveraging the power of vegetable science can pave the way for transformative solutions.

Startups focusing on vegetable science can contribute significantly to agricultural advancements by developing resilient and high-yielding vegetable varieties through breeding techniques, genetic engineering and precision agriculture. This not only addresses global food demand but also aids in the conservation of resources, reduction of environmental impact, and mitigation of climate change.

Furthermore, the integration of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and data analytics, into vegetable science can enhance crop monitoring, optimize resource utilization, and streamline supply chain processes. This not only increases efficiency but also opens new avenues for automation and smart farming practices.

The nutritional value of vegetables also plays a crucial role in promoting public health and wellness. Startups can explore innovative approaches to enhance the nutritional content of vegetables, develop functional foods, or create new plant-based products to meet the growing demand for healthy and sustainable diets.

Moreover, the rise of alternative protein sources, including plant-based proteins derived from vegetables, presents a unique opportunity for startups to contribute to the burgeoning market of sustainable protein options. By developing novel processing techniques and improving the taste and texture of plant-based products, these startups can cater to the increasing consumer preference for environmentally friendly and ethical food choices.

In Nutshell, the convergence of vegetable science, technology, and entrepreneurship holds the potential to revolutionize the agriculture and food industry. Startups that embrace this intersection can not only drive economic growth but also make significant contributions to addressing some of the most pressing challenges facing our planet. As the world continues to recognize the importance of sustainable and nutritious food systems, vegetable science startups stand at the forefront of creating a more resilient, efficient, and healthier future for all.

SKUAST K under the ambit of SKUAST K Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship Centre is always ready to support new young minds or budding entrepreneurs who wish to start their enterprises or have some novel or great ideas to take it forward to convert them into minimum viable products or technologies in vegetable science field can come and take advantage of this Centre situated in SKUAST K main campus Shalimar.

The authors are faculty at SKUAST-K

 

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AgriBiz

Exploring untapped opportunities of Agri-tech startups in Jammu and Kashmir

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Agri-tech startups
Mohammad Sarwat Hassnain Alam Khan
Naveed Hamid

Agri-tech startups have a crucial and emerging role in the development of the agriculture sector. They can be used to incorporate various technological developments like data analytics and IoT to improve crop yield, reduce wastage and streamline the agricultural supply chain.

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, agriculture has a leading and important role in the development and improvement of the economy of the region. Approximately, 70% of the population of the UT is directly or indirectly dependent on this sector. The region with this rich agricultural heritage is primarily dependent on traditional agricultural practices. Yet, the region faces several challenges, including limited access to modern farming techniques and a lack of infrastructure and resources to boost productivity. Irrespective of these hurdles there is a good untapped potential in the Agri-tech startups to flourish. Agri-tech startups have the potential to address these challenges and transform the agricultural landscape of Jammu and Kashmir. They can bring innovative solutions leveraging technology, data analytics, and modern farming techniques. Some of the untapped opportunities they can explore in the region are:

  1. Precision Framing: Agri-tech startups can introduce modern techniques like drone technology, satellite imagery, IoT IoT-based devices to improve and monitor soil health, crop quality and yield, and reduce resource wastage. Various technologies that can be used are:
  • GPS and GIS technologies will help farmers create detailed maps of their field including positioning of the equipment, soil types, nutrient levels and other relevant spatial information.
  • Remote Sensing, sensors, telematics and IoT including technologies like drones, satellites, moisture and crop health sensors provide real-time data like crop health, crop status, environmental and overall field conditions, and remote access to machinery.
  • Variable Rate Technology (VRT) systems can be used to enable farmers to adjust application rates of fertilisers, pesticides and irrigation.
  • Several other new aged technologies including blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning modules and algorithms can help in upskilling the agricultural sector in the region.
  1. Smart Market Linkages: Development and designing of smart and intelligent platforms and supply chains, that can connect farmers directly to the market without any intermediaries can help boost farmer incomes and reduce post-harvest losses. Although, many Agri-tech platforms like Kisan Mandi and the government-led initiative of Kisan Suvidha are available to connect farmers to the market, but have not catered for much of the usage among the farmers of the UT.
  2. Educational Initiatives: Agri-tech startups can also develop applications and platforms that can make farmers aware of the new technologies and practices to promote technological advancement and upskilling of farmers in the region.

There is a compelling need to tap into these underutilized Agri-tech startups for several reasons. Seizing these prospects within Agri-tech startups holds the potential to bring about a substantial positive transformation in the region’s agriculture. The entrepreneurs venturing into the field of Agri-tech can find a good market of opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir. This endeavour offers the opportunity to diversify the economy, reduce dependency on volatile sectors, and create employment avenues. Moreover, this startup can address pressing agricultural challenges, enhance productivity, and increase farmers’ income. Embracing sustainability aligns with global trends and positions your venture as an eco-friendly and responsible contributor to the agricultural landscape in the region.

Strategies to encash the real treasure of Agri Tech Startups 

The younger entrepreneurs venturing into Agri-tech startups need to take these suggestions and inputs in consideration for the growth and development of their ventures. First and foremost is skill, creativity and out-of-the-box mindset. Gather adequate knowledge and expertise essential for the venture and understand the need and applications of above mentioned untapped opportunities in the field. Furthermore, try to develop partnerships, connections and engagements with the associations, institutes, Incubators and government agencies for the concerned field as they can be an invaluable source of support and resources, enhancing the prospectus of success. Also, seeking funds from government schemes and private investors interested in supporting Agri-tech ventures and securing the necessary capital pivotal for the growth of the startup. Lastly, craft the Agri-tech solutions that are economically and practically accessible to the farming community aligning with their unique requirements and aspirations.

Conclusion

 Agri-tech startups have the potential to transform agriculture in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. These startups can contribute to the economic development of the Union Territory and improve the livelihoods of the farming community. Also, the convergence of Agri-tech startups and precision farming practices promises a brighter future for the farmer community, the Union Territory, and entrepreneurs in Jammu & Kashmir. As these innovative practices are embraced, the region can emerge as a beacon of how technology can transform traditional agriculture, ushering in a new era of prosperity and development.

There are a number of incubators in India to support Agri-tech startups but in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, SKUAST Kashmir Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship Centre, one of the brands in incubation is working to build up an ecosystem of Agri-Tech based startups by supporting them in every aspect.

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