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Agricultural Innovation Hub Set Up by ICRISAT

At the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), an innovation Hub (iHub) was inaugurated. To innovate cutting edge ideas across the whole agriculture value chain for smallholder farmers, at this innovation Hub (iHub), agricultural tech entrepreneurs, scientists and technology experts can collaborate.

ICRISAT says that, Agriculture in India is a $370 billion sector, but to improve productivity and lift millions out of poverty there is little application of technology.

Water shortage, declining soil fertility, effects of climate change and rapid decrease of fertile agricultural lands are multitude of problems and farmers now a days face these problems. If agriculture has to feed a rapidly growing population with fewer resources then innovation is imperative.

The iHub at ICRISAT launched by Telangana's Industry and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy and this hub is located at Patancheru near and spread over 10,000 square feet, it also includes a 40-seater accelerator facility.

It as an important development for the welfare of farmers and hoped that the innovations will help farmers reduce their investments and increase productivity, described Srinivas Reddy.

Rama Rao said, "I think the convergence of technology with the distressed sectors like agriculture, is the key to empowering our farmers and to improve productivity."

A high level advisory council has been set up to enhance and strengthen the strategic vision for iHub and this council includes Telangana's Principal Secretary, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Principal Secretary, Information Technology Jayesh Ranjan, Agricultural University Vice Chancellor Praveen Rao, Microsoft India Managing Director Anil Bhansali, T-Hub Senior Vice President Rama Iyer, Agriculture, Parthasarathi, ICRISAT Director General David Bergvinson. Its convenor is Ram Dhulipala, Lead, Digital agriculture and youth at ICRISAT.

Bergvinson said, "Entrepreneurs with passion are the ideal individuals to tackle problems using innovation and drive conversations at the intersection of agriculture, finance and IT. Promoting such intense collaborations between entrepreneurs and ICRISAT scientists is at the heart of the idea of iHub."

With T-Hub they already launched an international Agricultural Innovations Program and in collaborating with them many AgriTech startups have shown interest, he informed.

Source: http://www.business-standard.com