Second Edition of Cisco and Social Alpha-led Krishi Mangal Program to support seven start-ups in Sustainable Farming solutions

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After the success of the first edition of Krishi Mangal, a scale-up accelerator program launched in 2021, to propel agritech start-ups supporting smallholder farmers, global tech leader Cisco and Social Alpha, an innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups, have finalized a new selection of start-ups for its second edition.

The first edition of Krishi Mangal has successfully impacted over 17,000 farmers, created more than 200 jobs, facilitated upwards of 500 micro-entrepreneurs, and onboarded nearly 25 Farmers’ Producers Organizations (FPOs). The program was delivered across Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.

(R-L) Dr Maninder Kaur Dwivedi, Mr Ganesh Neelam, Dr Renuka Diwan, Mr Narayan Lal, Mr Sridhar Easwaran, Ms Anita Kumar

The second edition of Krishi Mangal is an 18-month market access and scale-up accelerator program which will support seven in-revenue start-ups in agriculture & allied livelihoods. From scaling technologies for soil rejuvenation, water & crop management to efficient post-harvest management, these start-ups will work to innovate and scale solutions for specific problems and create an impact for small and marginal farmers. Social Alpha’s innovation curation approach, along with the technological expertise of Cisco, will aid these start-ups with grant funding, piloting opportunities, go-to-market assistance, fundraising guidance, technology refinement, and mentorship support from experts to work on income-enhancing climate-resilient technologies at scale.

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Top (L- R) Dr Priti Khalkho, Mr Arpit Dhupar, Bottom (L- R) Mr Yogesh Gawande, Dr Vijayakumar Ramalingam

The second edition of the cohort consists of the following start-ups.

  • Proximal Soilsens: Founded by Dr. Rajul Patkar, Proximal Soilsens has built NutriSens, the world’s smallest soil testing system that is reliable, easy to use, capable of conducting multiple soil tests, and provides accurate and quick soil test results. Under the Krishi Mangal program, Proximal Soilsens plans to regularise its implementation strategy, and build a reliable team of managers, distributor channels, and agripreneurs to train and inform farmers at a scale focusing on selected districts in Maharashtra.
  • Niyo Farm Tech: Yogesh Gawande founded Niyo Farm Tech, which has designed small, user-friendly sprayers to reduce drudgery and improve yields. With the help of the Krishi Mangal program, Niyo expects to target more than 20,000 farmers from eight different districts of Maharashtra, including 1000+ women farmers, to create a direct impact on more than 3000 small, medium & marginal farmers’ lives.
  • Urdhvam Environmental Technologies: This start-up, founded by Rahul Bakare, has created a smart patented borewell recharging technique – Borecharger, to revive borewells. With the aid from the Krishi Mangal program, Urdhvam plans to develop a scalable model using FPOs as a B2B Influencer and Demand Generation Channel, to generate a bulk demand from farmers in selected districts of Maharashtra. This template can aid 5000+ FPOs in India, solving the groundwater irrigation issues of more than 50 lac farmers.
  • Dharaksha Ecosolutions: A start-up specialising in biodegradable packaging material with an aim to curb stubble burning and plastic pollution by creating biodegradable and sustainable alternatives, founded by Arpit Dhupar, with the support of Krishi Mangal program Dharaksha plans to scale it’s production to 10 folds by shifting production process from manual to automated with an infusion of technology. The raw material for these plants would be sourced from Stubble prone districts like Ambala & Kurukshetra.
  • Animeta Agritech: An animal healthcare platform designed and founded by Dr. Vijayakumar Ramalingam and Dr. N Punniamurthy, Animeta uses a disease-diagnosing chatbot to provide instant 24/7 aid and a connected platform for ethnoveterinary products for end-to-end animal healthcare. With the assistance from the Krishi Mangal program, AniMeta plans to serve at least 20,000 farmers over the next 12 months and scale its operations in 6 districts of Tamil Nadu.
  • Mivipro Products: Founded by GV Sudarshan, this company has developed Herboliv+, a bio-liquid made from botanical extracts and natural ingredients to resolve animal-human conflicts on agricultural land by effectively masking crop odor and rendering it unappetizing for wild animals. Under the Krishi Mangal program, Mivipro is looking to connect with NGOs, KVKs, and FPOs to reach out to farmers in selected districts of Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and build a strong customer base by connecting with farmers in each location.
  • Capsber Global Agro: An agriscience company founded by Dr. Priti Khalkho and Manoj Kumar R, it designs solutions to improve crop yields and food security by leveraging the potential of the microbiome, which results in a decreased carbon footprint and improve soil structure and nutrition uptake capacity. Casper Global Agro intends to do large-scale validations across districts in Karnataka and increase customer interaction through large-scale trials, demos, and training programs, under the Krishi Mangal Program.
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Mr.Harish Krishnan, Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India

Talking about the program, Harish Krishnan, Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India, said, “it’s heartening to see how Krishi Mangal addresses the need of the hour by identifying and providing a platform for some of the most promising agri-tech start-ups to develop their products, sharpen their value proposition, enhance their capabilities, localize their solutions, and build the organization at scale. Through Krishi Mangal 2.0, we look forward to investing in technology-led innovations to build climate-resilient agricultural practices that will revolutionize the lives of marginal farmers.”

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Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of Social Alpha by Mediawire team.

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