During an online seminar organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce on the usage of blockchain technology in the agriculture sector, STPI Director General Omkar Rai said the organisation has planned 21 centres of excellence (CoEs) to incubate new technologies in various sectors, and 12 of these centres are already operational.
“We have centres of excellence in autonomous connected electric vehicles, IoT (internet of things), augmented and virtual realities, animation and gaming, meditech, blockchain, etc,” Rai said.
He added that a total of 21 CoEs have already been planned and “STPI is going to have the country’s largest incubation ecosystem in technology in a year”.
Rai said STPI is collaborating with industry, academia and all stakeholders to develop new technologies in various verticals.
“Out of 21, we have already launched 12 CoEs. Three centres are dedicated to agriculture. We have launched one in Guwahati and another in Gurugram in the name of Apiary. We will launch another centre anytime soon in Patna,” Rai said.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing jointly contribute around 17 per cent to India’s gross domestic product, and about half of the country’s population is dependent on the sector for their livelihood.
Rai said India is the second-largest producer of farm products in the world and still needs to grow up in the value chain.
He also said there is a need to adopt modern technologies to enhance production in agriculture as well as focus on branding to build trust and reap high benefits.
“We have to enhance our branding based on trust, transparency and traceability. While keeping all other aspects constant, we have a variable which is branding. Everyone is fond of organic but how do we build trust. Blockchain is one technology that can create trust around the origin and quality of the products,” Rai said.
He added that agriculture is a sector that is not much explored in terms of usage of modern technologies.
“There are a lot of opportunities where one can create products, solutions and technology,” Rai.