By: Dr. Praveen Chauhan & Dr. Satyawan Saurabh
India is a predominantly agricultural country where about 70% of the people live in villages and about 63% of the people depend on agriculture. The population is growing by 1.6%, while the consumption of food products is growing by 7.8% mainly due to rising economic standards. Agriculture contributes about 17.3% of the total GDP of the country and employs about 56% of the people who are mostly in the unorganized sector. Therefore, agriculture is one of the most important drivers of food and nutrition security, employment, and livelihood.
The agricultural supply chain is one of the largest components of the supply chain, accounting for 53% of the total. India ranks second in the world for the production of horticultural crops and major grains like wheat and rice. The food processing sector is still emerging and this is not the case yet. Compared to the required rate, the average food processing rate (less than 11% depending on the crop items) is much lower. Due to poor processing industry, vegetable crops and some major crops like sugarcane, potato, tomato, kino, etc. are subject to a surplus loss cycle.
Similarly, the use of advanced seeds is also very low. Seeds of major crops like wheat and rice should be replaced by 20-30% every year, while hybrid seeds should be replaced by 100%. Due to the lack of food processing industry and food habits, food wastage accounts for about one-third of total food production, causing huge losses to farmers and total foodstuffs returning to agriculture and farming.
The situation in India is tense as the infrastructure for food grain production and transportation of industry is poor in many areas and farmers are forced to sell their produce at very cheap rates. In the case of dairy products, wool, and other animal products, the processing industry is picking up, but still below the required standard. During fish farming and supply chain milk, produce products, poultry, product, poor management during average processing attracts health issues.
The facts say that there should be market strength to support producers of agriculture and milk, eggs, mixes, fish, and aquatic products. The success of Indian agriculture is still under monsoon. Irrigation facilities are limited in large areas in India and one or the other part of the country is dry. Water is becoming a rare commodity. Now the everyday emphasis is being laid on crop productivity. Irrigation technologies are to be developed by developing technologies for water-targeted supply to avoid water loss due to flood irrigation and increase water efficiency. Farm machinery is mostly used by large holders while machinery and equipment for smallholders should be specially designed and manufactured by the industry.
The agricultural sector is a major sector of agribusiness, especially due to government policies for agricultural credit through banks. Also, business in the crop insurance sector is growing and will cover a large number of farms in the coming years. Management education in agribusiness can be a way of dealing with the approach and challenges of agricultural production in the country.
Thus, special management strategies such as waste of farm raw materials, processing, and advertising require special attention for branding nationally and internationally. Finally, proper management of all agricultural activities from sowing seeds to getting real returns on the market place is essential. These issues are expected to be addressed by management education in the agricultural sector, which certainly has the potential to create a second wave of the agricultural revolution in India.
There is an important need to develop a sense of entrepreneurship to shape Indian agriculture as a commercially viable entity and only then can agriculture make a major contribution to the development of the nation. The third installment recently released by the Government of India under the Self-Reliant India Campaign in the Corona Period emphasizes measures to strengthen infrastructure logistics, capacity building, governance, and administrative reforms for the fisheries and food processing sectors.
Under which an Agri infrastructure fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore has been provided to the farmers for farm-gate infrastructure to improve the agricultural infrastructure. A plan of Rs 10,000 crore has been brought for the formalization of Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs). A package of Rs. 20,000 crore for fishermen through Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, a separate budget for promotion of National Animal Disease Control Program for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in animals under which Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund will be set up.
Rs 4,000 crore has been released separately for the promotion of herbal farming and Rs 500 crore for the beekeeping initiative. “Operation Greens” run by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries will be extended to all fruits and vegetables ranging from tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. If all this comes to fruition, then the situation of agriculture will improve. Everything came to a standstill because of Corona, but it finally forced the Narendra Modi government to do what the whole country and especially the agricultural world there was a momentary wait for the last 6 years. When Modi came as the Prime Minister, there was a novelty in his attitude towards agriculture.
Everyone thought that now the condition of the farmers of the country would improve but it did not happen. No concrete policy initiatives were seen in the previous plan to ensure the use of. Since Modi came to power in 2014, the government has been reluctant to finally implement agricultural reforms. Neither APMC improved, nor e-name gained momentum. But now in the Corona period, the Modi government had to do everything for which the Modi government came to power again. In this sense, the Corona will truly be remembered as an important milestone in the epoch of Indian agriculture.