Telangana govt launches ‘Saagu-Baagu’ to promote innovation in agriculture, horticulture


Taking one more step towards the launch of ‘Saagu-Baagu’ project that would revolutionise agriculture in Telangana, the State government has released an Expression of Interest (EoI) for selection of Project Implementation Partners (PIPs) which will build consortia and deploy a bouquet of solutions from several startups and tech-focused organisations, to establish proof of value and accelerate adoption and use of agritech solutions.

Adopting a farmer first approach, the State government and World Economic Forum (WEF) jointly invited proposals from startups, Farm Producers Organisations (FPOs), industries, academia, and civil society to showcase end-to-end value chain transformation with new-age technologies, under its ambitious ‘Saagu-Baagu’ project.

The last date for submission of proposals is September 30 and the State government will conduct a virtual pre-bid conference for interested stakeholders on September 7.

“A new revolution in agriculture has already started with the adoption of emerging technologies in the sector. With this project, Telangana will be in the forefront and lead the revolution in our nation to improve farmers’ lives,” Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy said on Saturday.

The Saagu-Baagu project is the first-of-its-kind public-private initiative for agritech in India, to unlock Ease of Doing Innovation in agriculture and horticulture. It is aimed at bringing value addition with mainstreaming of innovative new age technologies in agriculture. This can potentially uplift the lives of more than 65 per cent of India’s population which depends on agriculture for their livelihood. The objective is to increase farmers’ income, saving environment and also enhancing trust and transparency.

“Telangana is leading by example – mainstreaming responsible and scalable deployment of emerging technology in agriculture, the highest priority sector for the country,” IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao said.

Along with a multi-stakeholder working group comprising over 70 organisations including more than 40 Indian startups, the Telangana government and WEF have shortlisted a list of 30 priority solutions using emerging technologies like AI, IoT, remote sensing, and blockchain among others to solve unique problems and create impact on farmers’ lives. Starting with one lakh farmers in 1,000 villages along with 100 farmers’ collectives, the initial scope of the EoI will be two years with focus on select crops like cotton, chilli and turmeric for Kharif season and groundnut, bengal gram for Rabi season. Any proposal by the EoI will be required to have at least 5 distinct use-cases across various segments of any given agri value chain. The government will engage the selected PIPs on a pro-bono and non-exclusive basis, and under a Public Private Cooperation (PPC) framework to offer active support.

Under this Public Private Cooperation (PPC) framework, the government and several State institutions are establishing an enabling environment to provide level playing field for innovation on a non-exclusive basis, as well as shared and regulated access to government data, infrastructure and manpower. It is also aimed towards convergence with existing programmes and policies on-ground, promote technology adoption through its field staff and awareness drives, provide agro-economic domain knowledge from the State agricultural university, and also uphold the interest of vulnerable stakeholders via continuous consultations.


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