The Agricultural College and Research Institute (ACRI) in Madurai will soon get an Agri Business Incubation Centre with a funding of Rs. 12.48 crore from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a workshop on entomology and entrepreneurship at ACRI on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) Vice-Chancellor K. Ramsamy said the centre was being planned on the lines of a similar incubation centre already functioning in TNAU’s Coimbatore campus.
The centre would help in providing support to aspiring entrepreneurs in agriculture sector right from ideation stage. “It is not just for our students. Anyone with a business idea from the region can approach us. If there is potential, we will help them in crystallizing the idea, developing a business plan, helping in getting financial support from institutions and taking the product to market.”
He added that the centre would provide a platform for entrepreneurs to interact with experts from different sectors who can assist in making the business successful.
Stating that NABARD had already released Rs. 1.8 crore for construction of a new building in the campus, he said the centre was expected to become functional within this financial year. The university was also planning to promote entrepreneurship among students and faculty by adopting models similar to those followed in foreign universities such as MIT. “We have begun a project where faculty members, who have developed solutions with business potential, are provided paid leave to work on their ideas.”