Budget 2022: Agri-tech and aquaculture sectors seek incentives for R&D

Agri-tech and aquaculture sectors have sought incentivisation of research and development and inclusion of formal finance and insurance in aquaculture in the upcoming Budget. The agritech sector also sought support from the government in terms of tax benefits, eligibility criteria to boost the progress of the sector.

Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, CEO & Founder of AgNext Technologies said “2021 was a good year for the agritech sector, which flourished with strong investments and greater adoption of technologies in the market. To support this growth momentum, acute focus on the development of the burgeoning agritech ecosystem is pivotal. We hope that the upcoming budget will prioritize R&D incentivization in agriculture, along with the supportive impetus to allow agritech businesses, particularly start-ups, to scale domestically at a greater pace. The agritech ecosystem also requires a focus on infrastructure development and governance frameworks to spur more innovation in the sector. Fiscal considerations can be beneficial to facilitate the growth of the Indian agritech sector in 2022.”

The aquaculture industry feels that to achieve the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) targets, the need of the hour is to drive the inclusion of formal finance and insurance in aquaculture.

Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder & CEO, Aquaconnect said “The PMMSY has shown some great results since its implementation. To accelerate the Blue Revolution 2.0, we expect a greater push to promote digital solutions across the value chain right from pre-production to post-harvest to bring predictability, efficiency, and traceability. Incentivizing farmers with better subsidies to adopt data-driven farming, farm monitoring & automation tools will eventually ease and accelerate the wider tech adoption and drive the transition of farmers towards modern farming systems with improved productivity.

High insurance premiums demotivate the farmers from availing any risk mitigation for their crops, hence subsidizing insurance premiums will help fish and shrimp farmers to mitigate production risks and reduce production costs to a great extent. Further, increasing the fisheries KCC limit from the current range will help farmers meet their farming expenses entirely, he added.

Amit Sinha, Co-Founder, Unnati said “The agritech industry will require support from the government in terms of tax benefits, eligibility criteria, etc., to boost the progress the sector is making and make agriculture a robust, tech-led sector. Some additional focus areas could be the allocation of funds for increased digitalization in the agricultural ecosystem, the promotion of collaboration between district governance and Agritech startups in order to bring innovative solutions to the farmers’ market, providing subsidies or cutbacks on taxes to farmers who opt for Agritech products. Easy access to capital, tax relaxation, and interest subvention to encourage FPO setups will allow the agritech industry to grow quickly and will help FPOs to gain traction in this new era.”

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