JORHAT, Jan 24: Three budding entrepreneurs of Assam have won cash prizes for their innovative ideas to do business in the agricultural sector in a contest organised by NEATEHUB (North East Agriculture Technology Entrepreneurs Hub) - Atal Incubation Centre - within the Assam Agricultural University campus here at Borbheta.
A NEATEHUB official informed this newspaper that in the contest titled ‘North East Agri Idea Challenge 2021’ organised as part of the three-day (January 21-23) National Agri Horticultural Show held at Bokakhat in Golaghat district, Dr Rajsekhar Sapcota of Guwahati bagged the first prize for his proposal.
His idea is about an innovative model of a virtual platform to deliver veterinary as a service and for its application Dr Sapcota has developed an App named ‘Vetmed’, the NEATEHUB official said.
“Dr Sapcota’s idea had the power to impact a large underserved section of farmers who have various concerns surrounding their animals”, the official observed.
Dr Sapcota was presented a cheque worth Rs 50,000 and will be offered mentorship by NEATEHUB in a function held on the concluding day (Saturday) of the three-day National Horticultural Show
The second prize was won by Rimjim Baruah of Jorhat for her idea of using an innovative low-cost tea-plucking device.
The official said that the device could be used to precisely pluck the required two leaves and one bud and is expected to aid small tea growers. Moreover, the device has a feature to add a solar-powered motor for collecting the leaves in a basket.
Rimjim too was presented a cheque worth Rs 25,000 and will be offered mentorship by NEATEHUB in the same function, the official stated.
The third prize was bagged by Pronab Jyoti Powrel, an agri student from Biswanath Chariali, for his idea to create Krishi Sakhas in various clusters of the State and in turn support them with adequate training to assist farmers, the official disclosed.
Pronab is also planning to host a web portal that helps in buying and selling of crop waste such as stubble, hay, etc.
Pronab was handed over a cheque worth Rs 10,000 and will be offered mentorship by NEATEHUB in the same function.
The official said that the three winners were selected from 10 shortlisted proposals out of a large number received by the organisers of the competition.
Among other dignitaries, the prize distribution ceremony was graced by Minister of Agriculture, Veterinary etc., Atul Bora and Water Resources, Science and Technology Minister Keshav Mahanta.
Since its inception, NEATEHUB has been instrumental in handholding the agri business entrepreneurs of the region and create a favourable environment for the entrepreneurship in the north-eastern region.
It may be mentioned here that NEATHUB was established in 2019 in the AAU campus, and is first of its kind in the north-eastern region, and among the 28 such hubs established for agri entrepreneurs across the country.
The institute was established as a Section 8 non-profit company with funding from the NITI Ayog and from the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare flagship scheme: Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana – Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied Sectors Rejuvination (RKVY-RAFTAAR).