This is the first of its kind programme to support enterprises in the agri and allied sectors launched in Assam. Assam Agribusiness Growth Lab (AAGL) is being initiated by CIIE.CO an incubator of IIM Ahmedabad in partnership with Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) under the aegis of Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services Society (ARIAS).
The programme was formally launched in Guwahati by Vinod Seshan, State Project Director, ARIAS Society. Seshan emphasized on strict policy formulation for quality control and seed funding for agribusiness ventures. He stated that there is a need to promote scalable agri enterprises and nurture their organic growth process with government support and technology transfer. “The time is ripe for various ecosystem players, government and private stakeholders, academic institutes and promising entrepreneurs to join hands and give a fillip to the growth of agri businesses of the state. “
Hemendra Mathur of Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF) shared with the audience an investor’s perspective, on how the Agri & Allied sector is shaping up in India.
Afreen Rahman, Entrepreneurship Specialist of AAGL Programme moderated a panel discussion with a few promising agri-entrepreneurs of the state. Some of the common concerns of the Agri-Entrepreneurs of the state were raised by a few local entrepreneurs in a discussion panel in the launch event are access to capital, knowledge-networking, linkage to high-value markets etc. To address these critical gaps, selected enterprises would be provided technical assistance, access to finance, access to market and mentoring support to scale their existing businesses. The programme will take a cluster and sector-based approach to enable the local businesses to form forward market linkages, leverage both external and internal business networks and strengthen value chain players for coming up with best quality curated new products/services.
There will be 30% representation of women-led enterprises from the state in the Lab by providing them business and technical mentorship for up-scaling their agri and allied ventures. A special focus is set on supporting women-led enterprises to make the programme equitable and provide gender balanced growth. The programme would focus on enterprises working in the areas like farm inputs, agri production equipment and services, food processing, agri based warehousing and logistics, farm to fork, farm to market connect services, and others.