The Government of India in association with The Nudge Centre for Social Service is organizing the ‘Cisco Agri Challenge’. With a prize purse of 2 crores, this program is to look for agritech startups to innovate and find solutions for 10 billion small farmers. The challenge will run in stages for 12 months. The main aim of this program is to alleviate the issues of low income and diminishing profitability of farming in India.
Professor K Raghavan, the co-host of this challenges says that "the government believes that public investment in traditional sciences and frontier technology will empower India to develop sustainable solutions for biodiversity preservation, climate change and regenerative agriculture" among other things.
This program hopes to raise the small and marginal farmers to be able to contribute to the economic welfare of India. Despite being a critical part of India’s socio-economic fabric, farmers have to face the challenge of low profitability due to the pandemic, the Cisco Agri challenge platform will aim to accelerate digital transformation in the agricultural sector.
The Cisco Agri Challenge draws talent, technology, capital, and attention to the most pressing land, crop, infrastructure and social protection issues of small farmers, caused by the pandemic. There is an urgent need to pull resources and take action to address population-scale challenges for the agriculture sector of India.
The/ Nudge Centre for Social Innovation is going to conceptualise and manage the Cisco Agri Challenge. Participants will be mentored by partners and experts like Mark Kahn (Managing Partner, Omnivore), Anil Kumar SG (Founder and CEO, Samunnati), Samit Ghosh (Founder, Ujjivan), and Shamika Ravi (Non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution). The program’s knowledge and technology partners are NSRCEL, IIM-Bangalore, Purdue University and Sattva Consulting. Other investors include Bharat Innovation Fund, Aavishkaar Capital, and Menterra. The Cisco Agri Challenge’s partners include the AgHub, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), and Nagaraja Prakasam.