Nurturing Agri-Startups
Powered by (RKVY-RAFTAAR), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare

UPJA is a distinctive program offered by PusaKrishi, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi under the RKVY-RAFTAAR scheme of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The Program offers acceleration and market access to start-ups in Agri-Tech and allied sectors having a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) based on innovative solutions / process / products / services / business models in agriculture and allied sectors.

The mentoring support offered under this program is a prominent segment where the start-ups are given an opportunity to have close interactions with the technical & industry experts, along with investor reach out for further fund raise.


UPJA 2021 invites applications from Start-ups which are focused on solving problems for the agriculture sector and farmers’ community in the following areas:

1). E-Markets and Digital supply / value chain initiatives.

2). Agricultural Farm Mechanization.

3). AgriFintechSolutions.

4). Solutions for sustainable use of Soil, Water & Natural resources.

5). Solutions for sustainable use of Soil, Water & Natural resources.

6). Innovations solutions inallied activities including animal husbandry / fisheries / Sericulture / forestry / Environment.

7). Precision Agriculture with IoT, blockchain / AI / MLTechnologies.


Through the course of the program the selected startups are assisted with the following benefits:

Grant-In-Aid of upto INR 25 lakhs

Technical & Business Mentoring

Infrastructure Support

Industry Connect

Pilot Opportunity

9 Weeks Program (Online*)

Are You Eligible?

Registered startups who are at Pre-commercialisation Stage with either paying or non-paying customers within agri-innovation sectors, you can qualify for this program.

What’s in it for you?

This program provides Grant-in-Aid upto Rs 25 Lakhs in support for business scale-up services. Our mentors have substantial experience working with a diverse range of ag businesses. They will help you achieve your objectives with a two-phased approach.

Introduction numberz-quote-symbol

Put your startup on a fast-track

How Agri-Startups will benefit from
‘UPJA incubation program”

  • Capacity Building and pre-incubation support: Help build a holistic understanding of startup building process.
  • Technical Mentorship: Utilize the Lab access and research with the network of institutes.
  • Business Mentorship: Consume the experience of our mentors and apply it to your ventures.
  • Incubation Support: Make use of the resources available at the incubation centre.
  • IP Support: Employ the guidance and tools for the IP related matters.
  • Market Penetration: Market linkages via Internal and external initiatives.
  • Investor Pitch Day: Interaction sessions with Investors with opportunity to pitch your product/service.

Program Process


UPJA, a Launch pad for Agri-Startups is an initiative of Pusa Krishi, ICAR-IARI powered by RKVY-RAFTAAR Scheme of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India. The main aim is to provide funding and mentoring support to establish and validate innovation pertaining only to agriculture and allied sector. Funding will be in the form of milestones-based Grant‐ in‐Aid limited up‐to Rs 5 Lakh.

An entity (Private Limited Company or Registered Partnership Firm or Limited Liability Partnership) shall be considered as per Startup India definition under notification G.S.R. 180(E) dated February 17, 2016. Any Individual with innovation can apply under the program, if selected would be facilitated for company formation according to guidelines of Startup India.

A proprietorship or a public limited company is not eligible as startup. A one-person company, being a private limited company is entitled to be recognized as a 'startup'.

Any organization/ individual applying for the program should not have any religious or political affiliations, and should have not been blacklisted by the government or any major agency/entity, and have no pending litigation in any court of law. The applicant is obligated to inform Pusa Krishi in case of any change in status of the aforementioned.

All applicants must first fill in their organization profile and then submit their proposal through our online/ offline application portal in order to have their proposal considered and reviewed.

Each applicant can choose to submit their application via Google Form/ F6S/ Startup- India website / Offline mode.

We encourage tech geek student to apply for the program as we would support them to the fullest for validation and company formation subject to their selection in the Incubation Program.

This program seeks solutions which follow the broad agri and allied guidelines mentioned below.

Agri Inputs

Precision Farming/ IoT/ ICT

Agricultural Supply Chain

Post-Harvest & Food Technology

Farm Mechanization

Natural Resource Management

Animal Husbandry, Dairying

Agri Clinics & Farm Health services

Agricultural Biotechnology

Agri Ext Education

Waste to Wealth, Secondary Agriculture

AI/ Blockchain in Agriculture

The Jury will evaluate an application based on the following criteria’s but not limited to:


How soon can the model be deployed on a reasonable scale?

What is the gestation period for the model?


How effective can the solution be? What is the impact potential? What value does the solution create?

Is the solution likely to be adopted by users and other stakeholders?

To what degree does the solution address the problem?

How feasible is the solution?

Team Capabilities

What key competencies are possessed by the applicants’ organization and partners (if any)?


How measurable are the solution outputs & outcomes?

Scalability and Replicability

How scalable is the solution?

How easily can the solution be replicated in other contexts and geographies?

Financial Aspects

How will the value created by the solution sustain or how will the solution continue after grant is over?

How much funding support can the solution attract?

Pusa Krishi team will review the application along with highly-qualified and esteemed Jury Panel. This would consist of a diverse panel of seasoned experts in Agriculture sector like Scientists, Industrialist, Banking professional, Ministry representative, etc. to evaluate innovations that are unique and implementable.

Applicants will be selected from open call across India. After initial screening selected applicant would be called for Round-2 (Presentation Round) in front of expert panel. The selected applicants from Round-2 will be invited for 2-Months of Incubation program by ZTM & BPD Unit, were they would learn from Nut & Bolts of Startup Journey, Indian Agriculture landscape to Fintech and Technology validation with 1-on-1 mentoring sessions by technical and business experts.

RKVY- RAFTAAR scheme focuses on innovation in agriculture and allied sector, but existing ideas can be supported subject to the extensive market traction and commerciality Nationally

  • Well curated 2 Months Incubation program  
  • Technical and Business mentoring from Industry experts.
  • Long term Incubation with fund facilitation support 
  • Access to Incubation facilities 
  • Media and Marketing support
  • Product development
  • Testing and Trials
  • Test Marketing through Exhibitions
  • IPR support and facilitation

The ownership of the submitted solution and/or innovation lies with applicant and/or with its affiliates. Pusa Krishi does not claim ownership and intellectual property rights to the submitted applications.

No, we do not accept multiple entries from one organization/ applicant.

Partnerships and collaboration are welcome within a single application. However, applicants can submit the proposal from one primary organization’s profile only. If awarded, the grant will be made to the same institution.

You can save your responses and come back to edit them before you submit them. (Applies in online mode only)

Please contact for questions and issues regarding UPJA Incubation Program (Pre-Seed Grant Support)

Yes, you can apply as long as you are convinced that your solution can address the problem in agriculture effectively. Your application must strongly demonstrate how your solution will work in solving the challenges in agri-domain. Your solution must be tried and tested in other scenarios and ready to be implemented.

Applicants/ their Organizations that have at least piloted their solution or made a prototype at a small scale before are ideal candidates to apply in ARISE. However, promising organizations that have finished developing their prototype and looking to pilot their solution at a small scale will also be considered.

Being a government organization, we strictly maintain confidentiality of all the proposals received under all Incubation Programs. All the reviewers sign a non-disclosure agreement and no conflict agreement before viewing the proposals and same is maintained during the mentoring sessions.

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