Bhubaneswar: “Secondary agriculture has enormous potential in contributing towards enhanced farm income and effective utilization of farm produces and can contribute to income generation and self-employment,” said Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister, Science and Technology. He was addressing the inaugural session of an outreach event focusing on “Secondary Education and Product Development” organised by Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar today as part of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebration while launching of products of three Startups.
Panda said that Secondary Agriculture is gaining importance in view of the realization of enhancing the farmers’ income that has been affected due to several factors including declining farm productivity, availability of assured marketing avenues of farm products and challenges faced by increasing climate change vulnerability. In this context, several initiatives have been undertaken focusing on value addition to primary agriculture and building agricultural enterprises in both rural and urban sectors. He appreciated the enthusiasm and commitment of these start-ups and wished these start-ups will encourage others to initiate activities for achieving greater success in the coming days.
Minister also said that ILS-Bioincubator which has been established with the support of the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of Odisha currently hosts 23 start-ups, a significant achievement brought in a short time period. Minister launched products of RNA Biotech, Thinkgenix and Odisha Beverages on the occasion.
Manoj Kumar Mishra, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of Odisha said that ILS Bioincubator through a competitive process has been awarded a start-up fund of Rs. 5.00 Crores from the Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Govt. of India for providing support to number of start-ups and hoped the provision will allow ILS incubator to attract a large number of start-ups and enable development of a number of diversified products. He also highlighted the activities of his department to encourage and support the Startup ecosystem in the State.
Dr. Ajay Parida, Director, ILS in his welcome address said the programme includes panel discussions and exhibition to showcase the products, the Startups have developed. He said that the thematic session which has been identified are Science and Technology Innovation and Incubation ecosystem, Agri-Nutri-Biotech, Health Care, Electronics and Instrumentation, Civil Infrastructure and Engineering, Climate Change, Ecology and Environment and Energy and Devices.
Later on Dr. Padmini Swain, Director, NRRI, Dr. Kamalesh Mishra, President, Seafood Exporters Association of India, Odisha Region, Dr. Sanat Mishra, Senior Scientist and Director, Agro Consultancy Support Services, Ashit Mohapatra, MD and CEO, Agri-link Food Processing Pvt. Ltd. Sriram Panda, MD, MITS Mega Food Park spoke in the plenary session on subjects such as Value addition and product development by Agri- entrepreneurs, Export potential of Fisheries products, Market-Led Initiatives (MLIs) by Farmer Producer Organization, Products from Horticulture Sector and Entrepreneurship in Food technologies.