Jammu & Kashmir has huge unexplored potential for agritech startups as the geography and climatic conditions here favour the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Dr Jitendra Singh said in Srinagar on Wednesday.
Inaugurating the startup summit in Srinagar, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the government job mindset is proving an impediment to startup 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 startups, as these young entrepreneurs are now beginning to realise the possibility of greater fortunes in this.
The minister pointed out that as Union Minister for Development of the North Eastern Region (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, those bamboo products are in great demand both in India and abroad and through startups, the youth can explore huge entrepreneurial opportunities in this sector.
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Dr Singh informed that the Biotech KISAN Hub has rejuvenated 40 orchards to 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 apples is taken up by farmers and is being promoted by the Biotech KISAN Hub vigorously. The minister promised full help by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for setting up agritech startups.
The minister pointed out that a new wave of agritech startups has emerged in the country in the last few years and these startups 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.