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Agritech venture capital firm Omnivore has launched OmniX Bio, an initiative to back early stage agrifood life sciences startups, the company said in a statement on Monday. 

The program is aimed at supporting Indian entrepreneurs who are working in the fields of agricultural biotechnology, novel farming systems, bioenergy and biomaterials, as well as innovative foods, including alternative protein, the company said. Omnivore did not disclose the size of the initiative or the investment programme. 

The OmniX Bio initiative will provide venture funding, mentorship from global agrifood life sciences leaders, institutional partnerships, and business development support to access domestic and export sales channels, Omnivore said. 

All members of the Omnivore team will support OmniX Bio, Omnivore said, adding that a doctor of philosophy (PhD)-holder life scientist will join the investment team in 2022 to oversee the initiative and help develop the agrifood life sciences ecosystem across India. 

India’s progress in agrifood life sciences has stalled over the past two decades, and the country needs innovations in synthetic biology, chemistry and biotechnology for the future of its agriculture and food systems, which will bear the brunt of climate change soon, the company said. Agrifood life sciences, thus, will play a crucial role in reducing India’s greenhouse gas emissions, while securing future of Indian farmers, Omnivore said.  

“We are excited to launch OmniX Bio to help reboot the agrifood life sciences ecosystem in India. Technological advances in this space can effectively solve some of the toughest challenges in Indian agriculture,” said Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, Omnivore. 

Omnivore said OmniX Bio has already backed a startup named BioPrime, which develops biological crop inputs that enhances yields without harming the environment or the health of farmers and consumers. The venture capital firm did not give details of the investment. 

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