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Call to help farmers increase income levels

IANS | Hyderabad |

Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary on Thursday called for finding ways and means to help farmers increase their income levels and reduce the cost of living.

He was speaking here at the inauguration of India's first "Rural Innovators Startup Conclave 2017" (RISC). 

The National Institute of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) is organising the two-day event to build capacities and promote fresh talent by giving them a platform to display their innovations.

The minister said that the NIRDPR could play a major role in capacity building and help farmers get educated in fundamental financial literacy and cost accountancy.

W.R. Reddy, Director General, NIRDPR, noted that this was the first of its kind platform to connect all institutes and agencies promoting innovation and start-up culture to look at the rural landscape.

"RISC will be an annual feature that can handhold and mentor the innovators and connect the startups with funding agencies. We believe rural development can be accelerated by infusion of technology tapping the creative minds of the youth across the country," he said.

The organisers pointed out that Indian start-ups were mostly IT-based and cater to urban services and that innovation and technology diffusion for rural development was the need of the hour.

"Other important stakeholders who act as support systems to rural innovators are still evolving. There is a need to develop and nurture mentors, angel investors, faculty, corporates, media so that they play a much more active role in contributing to the ecosystem."

On the second day of the conclave, the start-ups will received the awards in six areas — agriculture and allied, green energy technologies, drinking water, health and sanitation, waste to wealth, sustainable housing and other livelihoods.