The poverty rate in India in 2017-18 was at 23% - now made worse by the pandemic. With 30% of rural Indians falling below the poverty line and 65% population of India residing in rural areas, innovation in agriculture and near-farm industry is the key to alleviate poverty for a majority of Indian households. Since ~86% of farmers are small and marginal, increasing income of this segment will have an outsized positive impact on India’s economic development.
Can we increase profitability for the small farmer, while containing food inflation? And while we are at it, can we also improve social and environmental outcomes? That is the challenge.
Cisco Agri Challenge calls for solutions that ‘enhance profitability of small scale farmers’. Solutions with 10mn potential, that deliver positive economic, social and environmental value will compete for an INR 2 cr prize purse. Over the next year, an ecosystem of producers, experts, investors, enablers and supporters will come together to accelerate your learning, and to help you refine your solution. All high potential ideas will get stage-appropriate support to be implemented on ground and the most promising solution will win an inr 1 cr grant.
There is something for everyone at Cisco Agri Challenge.
The government of India strongly believes that public investment in both traditional science and frontier technology, will empower India to leapfrog in developing sustainable solutions for biodiversity preservation, environmental sciences, climate change, and regenerative agriculture. 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 & farmers' income. It will give way to a new behavior of seamless collaboration amongst the government, academia, and industry for addressing global societal problems.
Cisco, through the India Cash Grant Program, empowers social change agents via digital transformation and aims to impact 50 million people in India by 2025. Cisco strongly believes that the agriculture sector has an important role to play in India’s rise as an economic power as it employs 50% of India’s workforce. However, the agriculture and food system in India is fraught with challenges such as low productivity, absence of irrigation, unpredictable weather conditions, inefficiencies in the value chain, volatile markets, and unavailability of credit to farmers that have deeply affected smallholder farmers in India. Although there has been a surge of agritech solutions to address these challenges, they remain beyond the reach of smallholder farmers.
As the sole sponsor of the challenge, Cisco commits to the success of the challenge by galvanizing resources, creating mentorship opportunities for the challenge contestants, and building valuable ecosystem connections.
Through the Cisco Agri Challenge platform, we aim to accelerate digital transformation in the agriculture sector. We are not only incubating agritech startups, but also bringing together a powerful ecosystem of investors, domain experts, and government stakeholders to galvanize action and bring to market scalable solutions that can help boost farmers' incomes and improve their decision-making.
Knowledge and immersion in diverse problem areas
Access to innovations and engineering IP
Investors and incubators aligned to challenge objectives
Cisco Agri Challenge is open to individuals, groups of individuals(upto 10) that have