Agriculture’s chances look brighter!
Forget what the government says or doesn’t say! Agriculture sector, like other sectors,looks for a brighter future! There are now many positive developments like the recently concluded Hongkong WTO meet and the West Bengal CPI (M) Chief Minister’s private sector friendly approach to economic development etc.This is not the place to discuss the WTO talks outcome. Agriculture share in GDP is now down at 21 per cent. So, the future of agriculture lies in more profitable value-added agribusiness activities.
For the first time, Indian agriculture’s opportunities look brighter.The short-term might have still problems. But the long-term, after this WTO meet, looks very encouraging. Likewise, the best thing that has happened in recent times, is what the West Bengal Chief Minister has done for agriculture. Because, for now nearly more than 50years Indian agriculture is left to governments’ whims and fancies. Land reforms had completely led to stagnation. No one is willing to invest in agriculture. Because the land reform laws make any new investment worthless. No security for new investors, no new entrepreneurs are willing to risk his funds if you don’t have the freedom to own more lands or rent out lands to tenants.
You must have freedom to make profits in business ventures. That is why we welcomed the West Bengal Chief Minister’s new policy to allot more agriculture lands, something like5,000 acres to new investors to develop townships, new food parks etc. Unless you relax land ownership laws no big investments will come to rural areas, no employment opportunities will come and no higher incomes will come to rural labour.
That is why we are advocating many new policies that might now look as against the interests of the poor. No. The persisting rural poverty will continue to persist, if we don’t bring in big investments, even foreign direct investment to develop big new agri markets for even storing our grains in modern warehouses, silos etc. So too the rural communications. Even we need big new townships, unless we build new townships,the existing big cities will continue to draw more rural labour, more pollution, more slums and very same old problems would continue to make India a backward society.
Agriculture should be seen more and more a business opportunity. Agriculture is widespread and many people might take to this sector with a modern, business mind. We have to see how to invest and make more money in agriculture. Agriculture is not for poor people, not for uneducated people, it is for the new generation educated people, with interests in villages, rural areas and in exploiting the full potential of the land resources,deploys new business techniques, to identify markets and produce things for which the reis an assured market.
In this way, it is the private sector, by that we mean the large number of people who are engaged in agriculture have to look at the opportunities in agri sector in a new light. How to make the existing opportunities for new businesses, new crops, medicinal crops and also how to organise the new cultivation techniques, through contract farming, how to approach banks for funds with a clear business plan so that we can engage labour and other resources to produce and market for earning assured profits so that we can repay the bank loans and become in the process profits earning persons. Making money in agriculture is not a sin; making profits in agriculture should become our new mantra.
We have to do things without government help, government interference and we have to organise our agricultural activity as a business activity. As of now, it is not as a business activity as we enter agriculture. There are so many interference by the government at the grass roots level in agriculture. Officials and politicians have talked for long about heavy agri subsidies. The total food and fertiliser subsidies at Rs.32,450 crores or about 1% of GDP don’t go to farmers directly! But agriculture needs a series of reforms and direct subsidies to make it a competitive industry. There is now latest information; lates agribusiness activities are available through business consultancy services.
We urge our new generation agriculture families, our educated men and women to come to us for help and advice. We will help these new generation agriculture families to earn more money in new business opportunities every day. Yes, everyday is a good day for agriculture. It is how we see this sector as a sun-rise industry. The old mind set must go. A new mindset must help us to look at agriculture as a profitable area. We have done it; we have demonstrated this new mindset as a profitable way of look at life’s new opportunities.
V.Isvarmurti – Founder “Agriculture & Industry Survey” . Read more at www.isvarmurti.com