Mumbai– Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said that India requires innovation in agriculture in order to minimize wastage of argicultural produce which amounts to almost 30 per cent of the total output.

“In India, we lose about 30 per cent of the vegetables, fruits and others, despite the fact that India is the second-largest producer. We need innovation to minimise this loss,” he said at “International Conference and Awards for Innovations by Agri Startups”.

Prabhu said startups could use technology and bring innovations in areas such as making land and soil more fertile, producing agriculture from waste water, minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides, and better productivity.

Stressing the need for innovation on various fronts like cold storage and supply chain, among others, the Minister said: “It is also necessary in policy — in terms of how to frame the policy which will benefit the farmer more.”

Prabhu said the government has already started interacting with major stakeholders like regulators and the startup community. On December 7, an important session with global investors on how to support the startups is scheduled, he said.

Startup companies in agriculture sector should be encouraged to promote new innovations and ideas, he said.

“Agri innovation is the most important innovation the world needs in the field of agriculture at various levels and in different forms,” he added. (IANS)