J&K has huge unexplored potential of Agri-tech Start-ups: Dr Jitendra Singh

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Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Earth Science; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Space and Atomic Energy, Dr Jitendra Singh today said, J&K has huge unexplored potential of Agri-tech Start-ups as the geography and climatic conditions here favour the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants.

Inaugurating the Start-up summit in Srinagar, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the government job mind-set is proving an impediment to Start-Up culture, mainly in North India. He pointed out that the ‘Purple Revolution’ originating from Jammu & Kashmir offers attractive StartUp avenues and those who have entered the lavender sector are making a fortune out of it. He said, it is important to take note of some of the exemplary instances of many young entrepreneurs who are seen quitting their lucrative jobs in the MNCs to establish their own Start-Ups, as these young entrepreneurs are now beginning to realise the possibility of greater fortunes in this.

Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that as Union Minister for DoNER, he had approved three Bamboo Clusters in Jammu, Katra and Samba areas in 2020 for making of Bamboo basketry, Agarbatti and Bamboo Charcoal. He said, the Bamboo products are in great demand both in India and abroad and through Start-ups, the youth can explore huge entrepreneurial opportunities in this sector.

Dr Jitendra Singh gave full credit to the futuristic vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had given a call for “Start-Up India Stand Up India” from the ramparts of Red Fort in his Independence Day address of 2015 that initiated a mass interest, as a result of which the number of Start-Ups in India has increased from mere 350 in 2014 to over 80,000 in 2022 with more than 100 unicorns.

Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the Biotech KISAN Hub has rejuvenated 40 orchards till date under rejuvenation of apple orchards, where a very innovative methodology has been used to transform the old, senile and the young and non-productive orchards into more productive orchards. He said, in J&K too, the new high-density plantation system of apple is taken up by farmers and is being promoted by the Biotech KISAN hub vigorously. The Minister promised full help by DBT and CSIR for setting up of Agritech Start-ups.

The Minister pointed out that a new wave of Agri-tech Start-Ups has emerged in the country in the last few years and these Start-Ups are solving problems related to supply chain management, cooling and refrigeration, seed management and distribution, besides helping farmers to access a wider range of markets.

In the next 25 years of Amrti-Kal, said Dr Jitendra Singh, Jammu & Kashmir and several hill territories as well as the Himalayan States are going to make a significant value edition to build India’s future economy because these are the territories whose resources have remain under-utilised in the past. With Prime Minister Narendra Modi giving a focussed attention to these areas, they are going to play a pivotal role in placing India on the world pedestal by 2047, he said.