Networking giant Cisco on Friday said it has partnered with nonprofit organisation The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation and the Indian government for an "agri challenge" with a prize purse of Rs 2 crore aimed at mobilising agri-tech startups to innovate solutions that have the potential to positively impact at least 10 million small farmers.
The "Cisco Agri Challenge" challenge will run in stages over twelve months. It will support participants in developing, testing, and scaling solutions that help alleviate the issues of low income and diminishing profitability farmers in India are facing.
"Such a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaboration will play a catalytic role in implementing scientific and technological interventions in agriculture, thereby improving farmers' productivity and doubling farmers' income," K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India, who is co-hosting the challenge, said in a statement.
The Cisco Agri Challenge is a platform that draws talent, technology, capital, and attention to the most pressing land, crop, infrastructure, market fulfillment, and social protection issues of small farmers, spurred by the pandemic.
"Farmers are a critical part of India's socio-economic fabric, but they continue to face the challenge of low profitability, exacerbated by the pandemic," said Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, Cisco India and Saarc.
"Through the Cisco Agri Challenge platform, we aim to accelerate digital transformation in the agriculture sector."
The conceptualisation and management of the contest have been undertaken by The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation.