RICH to set up agri experiential park

To help farmers get hands-on experience of new technologies

By Author  |  Business Bureau  |  Published: 22nd Feb 2019  10:19 pm
RICH
Minister of Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan (third from right) with other dignitaries at the Global R&D Summit in Hyderabad on Friday.

Hyderabad: In order to give farmers a hands-on experience about the new agriculture technologies, the State is looking to launch an Agriculture Experiential Park. To be set up by Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), the park to be spread across 5-10 acres of land will be like a tinkering lab for farmers to try out emerging technologies and products in the agriculture space.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Global R&D Summit organised by Ficci and DST, RICH Ajit Rangnekar said, “There are many startups and companies working on cutting-edge technologies in the field of agriculture. However, the adoption is very low as firstly there is not much awareness and secondly because farmers are not sure if the technology will work in their field. Keeping this mind, we are going to set up an Agriculture Experiential Park wherein we will have farmers experience the various technologies and after they are convinced they can use it on a large scale.”

Rangnekar also added that this park will be a combination of tinkering labs and T-Works model for agriculture. RICH has identified partners like agriculture universities and private companies along with State and Central governments to help it in this endeavor and wants the park to come up by end of 2019. In addition to the park, RICH is also working with the government to set up B-Hub wherein startups and entrepreneurs in the field of biotechnology can test their products on a large scale and the space can be shared as well.

The second day of the summit had the Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences speak about the various initiatives taken by the Central government in the space of science and technology. “India is top ranking country in terms of R&D and a survey conducted by DST shows that India is amongst the top 13 countries in terms of share of public sector in R&D along with the US, Russia, UK and others. Over 80 per cent of the R&D spent in India comes from research agencies like DRDO, ISRO, ICAR, Department of Atomic Energy, CSIR. Out of 1,207 scientific institutions present globally, India stands at ninth position and we are third in nano technology. We aim to be among the top 3 nations in science by 2030,” he said.

As part of the summit, the India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme concluded its first year and signed a formal agreement to continue the programme for the second year. In the last one year, the programme saw 14 Rwanda companies form partnerships with 11 Indian companies. In addition, another African country Ethiopia signed its innovation programme with India and plans to demonstrate 50 technology ideas in the next one year.