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Agripreneurship - The New Backbone of the Nation

Agripreneurship - The New Backbone of the Nation

I would say that if the village perishes India will perish too.
India will be no more India. Her own mission in the world
will get lost. The revival of the village is possible only when
it is no more exploited. Industrialization on a mass scale
will necessarily lead to passive or active exploitation of the
villagers as the problems of competition and marketing come
in. Therefore we have to concentrate on the village being
self-contained, manufacturing mainly for use. Provided this
character of the village industry is maintained, there would
be no objection to villagers using even the modern machines
and tools that they can make and can afford to use. Only
they should not be used as a means of exploitation of others
- M. K. Gandhi. These words of Gandhiji are true to this
day and a perpetual fact. The artificer who reaps the fields
to bestow the nation with its livelihood lacks the economical
and developmental focus he deserves. Yes, the farmer,
the ‘backbone of the nation’ has been let down to dwindle
in poverty and even lose his life in lack that agriculture is
gaining a stature synonymous to ‘supreme sacrifice’. So,
more than just straightening this hunch on India’s backbone,
it is high time for us to go the extra mile to give it the wings to
take off into the heights of prosperity and pomp.

Centre for Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, discloses
that the “Poor income, bleak future and stress are the main
reasons”
[2]
 taunting the Indian farmers to give up farming and
that only “because of family pressure they are continuing
with farming”
[2]
. On the other hand, the nation has begun to witness a new breed of educated youth who have chosen 
to invest their acquired knowledge and skills in strategically
reaping the benefits of the hidden potentials of agriculture.
This ironically, in most cases, has also commenced after
encountering a ton of familial displeasure.

The new breeds of agriculturists, who have given an entirely
different angle and scope to the discipline of farming by
accentuating it with the benefit of entrepreneurship, are
called Agripreneurs. And their endeavor that prudently aligns
the time tested Agriculture & Animal Husbandry related
ventures with the appropriate attributes of Entrepreneurship
is called Agripreneurship.

Most of the traditional farmers do not have entrepreneurial
skills and hence pay the price of sharing much of the benefits of their monetary and physical investments with
the middlemen, processors, and traders who channel
the product to the consumers. Unlike the farmers who
“rarely know how to do business”,
[3]
 the agripreneurs
tactfully supersede the middlemen and traders to sell their
products directly to the end-user. This justifies and satiates
all the investments and toil devoted to the produce by
remunerating the principal investor to the fullest. “Perhaps,
they can be role models to the sons and daughters of
traditional farmers.”
[3]

Farmers believe that their job is to keep on producing routine
crops without any knowledge of the market and demand. But,
Agripreneurs keep a keen eye on the market and produce
products that are in demand. For example, they are now
interested in growing and delivering herbs and European
vegetables that have a thriving market in the metros and are
swiftly consumed in large volumes by hoteliers. Agripreneurs
strategically match their product lifecycles with the supply
and demand protocol of the existing market. They break free
from the conventional methods of farming by capitalizing
on the latest machinery, techniques, Scientifics, and other
trends to bring glamour into the process. So, it is the need
of the hour for the traditional farmers to don the mantle of
agripreneurship for it is their most desirable way out from
misery to a great future. In addition to facilitating such
an enterprising shift, it also would efficiently improve the
quantity and quality of the produce.

A National awareness campaign has to be initiated by the
Government to invite volunteering farmers to take on the
victory path to agripreneurship. But, without any exposure
to technology, information, leads, market knowledge,
customer relations, etc. the farmers would not be able
to assume the drastic move on their own. Therefore, to
handhold the farmers willing to become Agripreneurs, the
governing bodies concerned could deliberate in unison
with the relevant private establishments, institutions
and the appointed NGOs, and furnish financial help to
the agriculturists along with the provision of latest tools/
machinery, and the inculcation of all essential technical and
entrepreneurial skills.