Do we really need mega machines to increase efficiency and productivity in agriculture in India?
From the very beginning post-independence years, India has been an agriculture-centric country. This is a country where more than half of its workforce is still dependent on one or the other form of agriculture-related activities. But the gloomy part is that it has not yielded desirable results rather it has given rise to disguise employment. As per the latest reports, the contribution of agriculture in Indian GDP is a minuscule 18%. It simply means that to feed a single person, three persons are working. This is a matter of great concern as most of the developing countries like China, Russia and Brazil etc. are having not more than 30% of their population involved in agriculture. The agriculture-dependent population has decreased manifold in the last few decades in developed countries such as the USA (2%), Germany (10%) and London (1.5%) etc. The most vital part one needs to understand here is that these countries kept decreasing their workforce in agriculture but agriculture demand and supply hardly faced any sort of setback. This implies that they were well-equipped with alternatives to the human workforce. We all know what these alternatives were. These were the advanced machines which had the potential of doing work of hundreds of human beings in a very little span of time.
India has severely failed to make use of high-tech machines. Apart from this, there are multiple factors which affect the agriculture primary being the monsoon. Even after seven decades of independence, it’s unfortunate that we have not built any mechanism which could reduce our dependency on monsoon. Apart from the monsoon, the second and already mentioned factor is the under-utilization of machines and technologies in agriculture. India has excelled a lot in technology advancement but the intriguing part is its lack of seriousness for the utilization of machines for the agriculture community. The farming community is still using the decades-old techniques which hardly have any relevance today. The government needs to organize workshops where it could display the advantages of advanced machines. Moreover, it needs to assure farmers that technology would be utilized for the betterment of their yields and it would not have any side-effects which we had to experience after the green revolution. It becomes a major responsibility for any government to make sure that a machine or technology is not having any kind of unwanted side-effects. The government can assist the farming community by providing subsidies to spur the community for making good use of technology.
The increased usage of machines will make farmers market-oriented. This needs to be implemented as soon as possible because rural youth is searching for new avenues of growth in urban areas. Rural youth is moving away from farming due to its hard labor. Mechanization reduces and eases the hard labor of human involved with farming. Apart from this, it can also ensure better outputs in comparison to what we are getting now. It can help us in efficient use of resources. It can prove to be helpful by allowing us for better practices such as inter-cropping which is a practice of planting different types of crops in one field. These crops grow simultaneously and complement each other in their growth. Periodical and inter-cropping practices mitigate the risk of pests, soil degradation and the effects of undesirable climate conditions. There are several ways by which we can make use of technology effectively.
In order to increase output in a sustainable way, we have to utilize appropriate machines and tools. If carefully chosen, such machines can help us growing crop with minimum-to-no disturbance.
Business opportunities in Agricultural industry
India has been an agriculture-centric country since ages, known as a “golden bird” owing to its large production of different crops. But due to the exploitation is done by British government we could not sustain that position. Today, technology has given new wings to our agricultural activities. New avenues are being opened for the agro-based communities. As a result, agriculture is no more confined to the production of crops and rearing of milch animals; many subsets, too are burgeoning.
Government is taking in the sights to increase the output of agricultural productions. Our country’s half of its population is involved in farming, however, the contribution to national GDP stands meager 18 %. Consequently, the government is looking to tap the alternatives like Organic Farming, Sunflower Farming and Mushroom Farming etc. It wants to work as a facilitator for anyone willing to contribute to agriculture. Even those who are not very familiar with agricultural activities are getting chances to learn different facets of these activities. Government-sponsored workshops and several programs on TV channels work as facilitators. Many startups have blossomed and entrepreneurs are taking agricultural activities as hot cakes. By means of E-Commerce websites, entrepreneurs can easily market their products effectively. There are many players already in the fray who have brought fortunes for them by gaining footholds in agro-industries.
Here is a list of a few agricultural activities which can be practiced to explore new opportunities for growth:
Vermicompost- Organic Fertilizer Production
Due to its low initial investment, it has evolved as a vital part of agro-business prototypes across the country. After knowing the basics one can easily start his or her entrepreneurial venture.
Organic Farm Green House
In recent years, interest in organic farming has grown tremendously. People have gained awareness regarding ill-effects of chemical farming and the repercussions it has on their health. Earlier, it was being done on small and family-owned farms. But now owing to the increasing demand for organic foods, more and more enthusiastic people are investing in land for organic farming.
Basket and Broom Production
In rural agriculture scenario, this is quite common to see people engrossed in basket making practice. It has been a part of rural culture since centuries. An entrepreneur can make most out of it by giving a twist. Our rural cultures and products associated with them are being well-acclaimed and accepted globally. By doing a little designing and ornamentation, baskets can be sold in Indian and global markets both. Manufacturer and seller both will be in “win-win” situation this way. Online shopping portals can help a lot to market and channelize these products.
Broom is a part of almost every household. It is being used in almost every house since centuries. It needs moderate capital investment. It can prove to be quite fruitful due to its never-ending demand in Indian houses.
One having big pieces of land can go for this business. This is a business in vogue these days which generates high margins in profits. It is typically a commercial cash crop. Its oil has become quite popular among masses in recent years owing to its medicinal aspects.
One can generate a substantial online sale by door-step delivery. One needs to have a little knowledge of flowers and a connection with the nearby gardener. It is one of the most profitable agro-business.
There are plenty of other options available which can be utilized as per one’s needs and choices.