Bengaluru: Karnataka Agriculture Minister B C Patil said on Wednesday the Government would soon unveil a policy framework on agri start-ups and operational guidelines.

Patil said agri start-ups can provide missing links in the agricultural value chain and deliver efficient, innovative products, technologies and services to farmers and consumers.

Addressing a virtual session ofFICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) summit and awards for agri start-ups,he said the food and agriculture practices and enterprises in India are poised for transformational changes in line with the new government policies.

"Agriculture has been rapidly evolving into agri business in terms of approach and structure," he was quoted as saying in a FICCI statement.

To develop congenial eco-system for agri start-ups in Karnataka, a committee had been constituted to formulate a policy framework on agri start-ups and operational guidelines.

"The committee has submitted the policy documents to the government, and we are in the process of releasing it shortly," he said, according to the statement.

Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & Group President (Corporate Relations & Alliances), TAFE Ltd, T R Kesavan said said every agri start-up has its own strength and there is a need to create a dedicated cell for agri start-ups.

Chairman, FICCI Task Force on Agri Start-ups, Hemendra Mathur said: "Bengaluru is the tech capital of the country and we must think towards building a centre for excellence in the agriculture sector with the kind of talent and resources that we have in Karnataka".

Pravesh Sharma, Chairman, FICCI Task Force on FPOs and Co-founder and CEO, Kamatan Farm Tech Pvt Ltd, emphasised on having state-level agri start-up policy for different states and this should be supported by a dedicated organisation to promote agri start-ups.

FICCI Secretary General Dilip Chenoy said the agriculture ecosystem is witnessing a wave of entrepreneurship with disruptive and futuristic ideas.

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Moscow, Dec 4: About 2,500 seals have been found dead on the Caspian Sea coast in southern Russia, officials said Sunday.

Authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan said it was unclear why the mass die-off happened but that it was likely due to natural causes.

Regional officials initially reported Saturday that 700 dead seals were found on the coast, but the Dagestan division of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment later raised the figure to about 2,500.

Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said in a statement that the seals likely died a couple of weeks ago. He added that there was no sign that they were killed or caught in fishing nets.

Experts of the Federal Fisheries Agency and prosecutors inspected the coastline and collected data for laboratory research, which didn't immediately spot any pollutants.

Several previous incidents of mass seal deaths were attributed to natural causes. Kazakhstan, which has a long Caspian coastline, reported at least three such incidents this year.

Data about the number of seals in the Caspian vary widely. The fisheries agency has said the overall number of Caspian seals is 270,000-300,000, while the Caspian Environmental Protection Center put the number at 70,000.