“Small is Beautiful” Business models for agribusiness development!

Karnataka’s bad experience! Agriculture and the private investments!
There is no clear policy, yet!

ICAR is another world, alien world, as far as farmers investing in     agribusiness venture are concerned.

There is one body, called, Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium! What it has done? Precious little, shall we say?

So too there are so many ICAR-funded bodies in Hyderabad. Oh, so many to name them here.

What is their sum total of achievements?

Please let us recognise the reality that Indian agriculture, in spite of what the ICAR has done or not done, is progressing thanks to free market forces. India is now an agriculture export economy.
We export rice in a serious way. We are almost next to Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia in rice exports.

What is this : plain rip-off!
For a London headquartered Price water House Coopers, the knowledge partners and transaction advisers, the fee in several splits, was as high one crore and above. The maximum amount was spent on publicity and media coverage. We were aghast to see that under this head the amount comes to as much as Rs. 3.32 crores.
This is a plain rip-off.

This is a long way indeed in the transformation of the Indian agri economy. So, too the next big agri revolution will be in agriculture diversification.  The Karnataka global agri investors meet ends a flop!  Rs.1.97 crores for two day accommodations!

Rs.1.23 crores for event arrangement! Publicity, media expenses alone at Rs.3.32 crores!  Out of  70,000 crores promised only one proposal came to the tune of Rs. 1.10 lakh crores!

We could see why such a big ambitious global agri investment meet on Dec 1 and 2 flopped. There could be many reasons, valid and ill-conceived.

One major reason it seems is the rather collection  of so many experts and knowledge partners and consultants.  Here we see from day one there was a mistaken belief that these guys are knowledgeable while we can see they were out to cheat  the unsuspected government. And the fees!

Oh,they are all mind boggling.  Somebody played the mischief.
We, at  Vadamalai Media, are in the agriculture media business now for over 25 years! The first cover page featured incidentally, the then Chief Minister, none other than the great Deve Gowda who was gracious enough to give us an interview and also, let us admit here plainly, a great deal of support. To compensate for his moral and government support, that within a month  he went on to adorn the high chair of the Prime Minister of India. So, all goodwill we have for a farmer-turned Chief Minister and then Prime Minister.

We have had connections in the past with some of the great farmer leaders. Charan Singh, C.Subramanyam and even others like Balram Jhakhar, P.Thimma Reddy and many others.

Today, agriculture is fast changing.

The government cares only to keep up the production targets.
Government also worries about votes. As for farmers constituting a vote bank, it had gone now, forever it seems.

It is happening any way through the great changes in our economy, the coming of the retail revolution, the FDI controversy will end, we hope, in favour of FDI and once that sector is opened up, there could be supply chain management, cold chains and contract farming.
There are other vested interests in the agri sector.

We need robust thinking and practical wisdom. We can’t follow the big, MNC type agribusiness development models for India or Asian countries that are basically and for a long time to come be agriculturally rich countries.

Small farmers based enterprises, marketing and even distribution chains, benign and people friendly, say “Small is Beautiful” business models only might make sense.

So, we need new ideas, new innovations and new business models.

Source : Agriculture & Industry Survey