The Government of India has launched the ASPIRE scheme to promote the rural agro-industry in India. The scheme is for the promotion of innovation, entrepreneurship, and agro-industry. In India, the MSME sector plays a pivotal role in the overall economic development of the country.
The development of the rural economy has been one of the prime concerns of the Government of India. There is a need to address opportunities in rural areas. This could be done by setting up small enterprises in the Agro-based industry sector. Because nearly 56 % of the population is still dependent on agriculture.
There is ample scope for innovation, value addition, and entrepreneurship development in this sector. This is possible only by skill up-gradation, handholding, mentoring, incubation, and credit support aimed especially at rural youth and women providing them employment opportunities at their doorstep.
Suggested Read: How To Get Agriculture Loan In India
The proposed scheme is designed to provide the necessary skill set for setting up business enterprises and also to facilitate the market linkages available to the entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the scheme is to provide hand holding for a critical period to ensure self-sustainability.
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The Objective of ASPIRE Scheme
The main objectives of the scheme are to:
- Create new jobs and reduce unemployment,
- Promote entrepreneurship culture in India,
- Grassroots economic development at the district level,
- Facilitate innovative business solutions for unmet social needs, and
- Promote innovation to further strengthen the competitiveness of the MSME sector.
All of the above objectives are interlinked. Govt. is using different tools and methods to achieve these objectives. There are various ongoing programs to utilize these available tools in isolation to achieve one or more of the objectives.
The corpus will be dedicated to the following uses:
- Automation of agricultural practices and activities related thereto,
- Value addition to agriculture and forest produce,
- Recycling of agricultural pre/post-harvest wastages, off-farm but farm linked, animal husbandry, etc.,
- Furthermore, business models for aggregation and value addition relevant to rural areas,
- Business models for the creation of local employment in rural areas,
- In addition, business models for social impact.
Rupees 200 Crores Corpus Utilization
Livelihood Business Incubation (LBI) – Rupees 62.50 Crores
The main objective of this Scheme is to set up business incubators to incubate, impart entrepreneurship, skill development training to youth, mentoring and hand holding with facilitation for funding. In addition, with a view to empowering them to set up their own business enterprises.
The prime focus of these incubators is to create jobs at a local level. Furthermore to reduce unemployment by creating a favorable ecosystem for entrepreneurial development in the country. The main focus area under the livelihood incubation is to take up those commercial activities which are already established to create enterprises on a large scale.
Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Model – Rupees 61.50 Crores
Technology business incubators are a powerful economic development tool. They promote growth through innovation and application of technology and support economic development strategies for small business development. In addition, they encourage growth from within local economies, while also providing a mechanism for technology transfer.
The Technology Business Incubators would primarily focus on those technologies which need support for commercialization and further proliferation. These can act as a growth driver in the low-end spectrum of the incubation ecosystem.
The components of the program will include mentoring support in business and technology plans, networking of business resources, entrepreneurship cum skill development, identification of appropriate technology, hands-on experience on Projects, Projects/product selection, project report preparation, credit facilitation, and seed capital assistance, marketing assistance. In conclusion, they provide professional assistance to make the enterprise successful and achieve higher growth.
Fund of Funds Creation With SIDBI
There is a plan to create a fund under SIDBI for the purpose. And INR 60 Cr is earmarked for the same. In addition, this start-up promotion targets those knowledge initiatives which need support and nurturing to succeed in developing technology and business enterprise in the near future in the areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurship. Furthermore, it promotes multiple value chains of manufacturing and service delivery in the Agro-based Industry verticals.
You can find several other initiatives under this ASPIRE scheme. The scheme is helpful for small agro entrepreneurs.