Good Practice Notes On Institutional Innovations-6-Catalysing Grassroot Entrepreneurship Through Satellite Incubation Centres in India

Agribusiness incubation plays a key role in creating and nurturing viable agricultural entrepreneurships involving diverse stakeholders. Currently, agribusiness incubation is campus bound, offering cohort-based pre-incubation and other incubation services. This strategy has an inherent limitation of leaving out grassroot incubation, something that has always been associated with agricultural value chains. With this in mind the Agri-Business Incubator of the ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI ABI) has developed the concept of Satellite Incubation Centres – a collaborative system for decentralising incubation services to the grassroot level. From 2021, the ICAR-CTCRI ABI has built a strong network of Satellite Incubation Centres (SIC) for serving agripreneurs, farmers’ collectives, startups and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the southern, eastern and north-eastern Indian states. The SICs were developed in collaboration with agricultural and veterinary universities and established in states or district level units.

Apart from enhancing the income of agripreneurs and startups and generating jobs and agricultural person days, the SICs have successfully created innovative value chains, such as the biofortified sweet potato value chain for combating malnutrition. In this Good Practice Note the authors – P Sethuraman Sivakumar, M Nedunchezhiyan, Mahesh B Tengli, D Thirunavukkarasu, B Shanmugasundaram, Saravanan Raju, C Sharmila Bharathi, Ashok Chhetri, CR Sasikumar, G Byju, Gayathri BR and Athira Krishnan LR – reflect on their experience with conceptualising and implementing SICs with diverse stakeholders in different regions of India. They highlight the need to decentralize the agribusiness incubation process to directly address value chain-based problems through pluralistic institutional innovations, such as SICs.