Krishi Mangal: Scaling Innovations for Climate Resilient Agriculture

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An initiative by Cisco India CSR in partnership with Social Alpha

  • In its successful second edition, Krishi Mangal, a scale-up initiative, has supported 7 Agri-tech start-ups that are solving the challenges in agriculture and allied livelihoods and helping small and marginal farmers to be climate-resilient
  • These start-ups received grant funding, support for market scale-up, venture acceleration from Social Alpha, and mentorship from Cisco’s experts for 12 months
  • Krishi Mangal program, since its inception in 2021, has supported 12 startups, enabled more than 40,000 small and marginal farmers and generated over 1000 jobs boosting local economy.

BENGALURU, India, June 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ —  Krishi Mangal, a scale-up Accelerator supported by Cisco India CSR, and powered by Social Alpha, has supported 7 in-revenue Agri-tech startups in its second edition of the program. These start-ups, with the comprehensive support of the program, focused on scaling technologies for soil testing and rejuvenation, water and crop management, and allied services. Each start-up received a wide range of support, including grant funding, piloting opportunities, go-to-market assistance, fundraising guidance, technology refinement, and mentorship support from experts. By combining Social Alpha’s innovation curation approach with Cisco’s technological expertise, these start-ups have successfully deployed technologies to support farmers.

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The accelerator program was first launched in 2021 and has supported 12 startups since its inception. Till date, it has enabled more than 40,000 small and marginal farmers by bringing access to technology and improving their income, as well as supporting the local economy to generate more than 1000 jobs.  

The cohort of the second edition includes the following start-ups:

  1. Proximal Soilsens has built the world’s tiniest, most repeatable, and user-friendly soil testing system, ‘NutriSens’, to provide accurate, quick soil test results. With the program’s support, Soilsens has scaled its operations in Maharashtra by building B2B channel partners and enhanced their ground reach with micro-entrepreneurship model.
  2. Niyo Farm Tech has designed small, user-friendly sprayers to reduce drudgery and improve yields. During the last 12 months in the program, they have scaled their model by trying out multiple sales channels like dealership model, field demonstrations for farmers, using social media for lead generation and digital marketing, while scaling the ones that generated better sales.
  3. Urdhavam Environmental Technologies has developed a smart patented borewell recharging technique – Borecharger, to revive borewells. The program has supported them to build new market i.e. selling Borecharger as a service to the farmers, with trials in selected districts of Maharashtra, while also supporting them in technology improvement.
  4. Dharaksha Ecosolutions has created a biotechnology process that converts crop stubble waste into biodegradable packaging material, replacing thermocol. With the support of the program, Dharaksha has designed and commissioned an automatic machine, thus reducing manual work and scaling production capacity by 10 times.
  5. Animeta Agritech uses a digitized end-to-end animal healthcare platform, providing instant aid 24/7 through its disease-diagnosing chatbot and a connected platform for ethnoveterinary products. During the last 12 months, Animeta team has enhanced their farmers’ reach by setting up 10 clusters in Tamil Nadu, each cluster comprising of 100-150 villages. This has helped them increase their sales 5 times during the year.
  6. Mivipro Products Private Limited developed Herboliv+, a bio-liquid made from botanical extracts and natural ingredients. It effectively masks the crop’s odour and renders it unappetizing for wild animals. The program has supported Mivipro to enhance their customers‘ reach by setting up clusters in Uttar Pradesh and building B2B channels in 3 more states.
  7. Capsber Global Agro improves crop yields and food security by leveraging the potential of the microbiome, which results in a decreased carbon footprint and mitigates soil erosion. With the program’s support, Capsber is able to increase product adaptability with farmers while setting up 6 clusters in Karnataka.

Harish Krishnan, Managing Director & Chief Policy Officer, Cisco India, said, “With over 70% of India’s population relying on agriculture, improving farm productivity is crucial for national growth and prosperity, a priority highlighted in recent elections. At Cisco, our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. Krishi Mangal, our deep tech accelerator program in collaboration with Social Alpha, exemplifies our commitment to supporting small and marginal farmers with technology and innovation, revolutionizing farming practices, making them more profitable and sustainable. We are proud of the Agri-tech startups identified through Krishi Mangal and are dedicated to helping them develop products, enhance value propositions, localize solutions, and scale their organizations. Through Krishi Mangal 2.0, we aim to invest in further technology-led innovations to build climate-resilient agricultural practices, significantly improving the lives of marginal farmers and boosting agricultural productivity and climate resilience.”

Manoj Kumar, Founder, Social Alpha, said, “Smallholder farmers are severely impacted by climate change. They frequently face extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, which damage crops and reduce yields. Water scarcity and soil degradation further threaten their productivity. These farmers often lack the resources and infrastructure to adapt, making them vulnerable to income loss and food insecurity. The unpredictable weather exacerbates their challenges, creating an unstable farming environment and jeopardising their livelihoods. Innovations in climate adaptation are essential for proactively addressing the impact of climate change and enhancing resilience among these vulnerable communities.”

About Social Alpha

Social Alpha is a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic, and environmental challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has supported 300+ start-ups, including 80+ seed investments.

For more information, please visit www.socialalpha.org

About Cisco CSR

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that securely connects everything to make anything possible. Our purpose is to power an inclusive future for all by helping our customers reimagine their applications, power hybrid work, secure their enterprise, transform their infrastructure, and meet their sustainability goals. Discover more on The Newsroom and follow us on X at @Cisco

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