A shift from agriculture to agribusiness is a key transformation to revitalise Indian agriculture and make it an attractive and profitable venture.
Agripreneurship has the potential to contribute to a range of social and economic development such as employment generation, poverty reduction and improvement in nutrition, health and overall food security in the national economy.
Further, it stimulates growth in rural and urban areas by diversifying income and creating entrepreneurship opportunities.
Since the inception of New Economic Reforms and the adoption of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation in 1992-95, it has been expected that rural areas will grow at par with urban areas.
The practice of entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture in recent years has generated a wide range of economic benefits such as increased agri productivity, creation of new business ventures, new employment, innovative products and services, development of rural areas and increased wealth.
Recent trends in the development of agriculture
The proportion of the agriculture and allied sector in India’s total Gross Value Added has improved to 20.2% in 2020-21 from 18.8% in 2021-22.
According to the Economic Survey 2021-22, agriculture and the allied sector proved to be the most resilient to the COVID-19 shock as it registered a growth of 3.6% in 2020-21 which further increased by 3.9% in 2021-22.
In terms of real value added, the Indian agriculture sector ranks second after China.
Further, in recent years, there has been a considerable emphasis on crop diversification towards horticulture (fruits, vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants), plantation crops (coconut, cashew nuts and cocoa) and increasing manufacturing plants.
Contract farming is becoming more common these days.
Bilateral and regional trade agreements have helped to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to cross-border agricultural production flow and increased financial market transparency resulting in increased capital flow in the form of FDI.
Economic development in agriculture due to Agri-Entrepreneurship
Setting up of agri-enterprises such as apiaries, food processing units, seed processing units, mushroom production units, commercial vermicompost units, goat rearing, organic vegetable and fruits retail outlet, bamboo plantation and jatropha cultivation has helped to increase profitability in agriculture and allied sectors.
Easy access to technology, the emergence of microfinancing, liberalised government rules, and awareness and training programmes on agri and allied sectors have prompted people to take up self-employment in the field of agriculture which has enhanced the potential of agriculture.
According to the recent trends in agricultural markets, agriculture has shifted from a deficit-driven to a surplus-driven industry.
National Spot Exchange Limited (NSEL) which is a nationalised transparent electronic spot exchange based in Mumbai, is offering a cutting-edge marketplace that offers solutions to agricultural producers, processors, exporters and other stakeholders.
The e-Seva Kendra of the Grameen Sanchar Society (GRASSO) offers agri-related services such as market access, the price for agricultural products, availability of cold storage facilities and labour and job opportunities.
Agricultural Marketing Information System (AGMARKNET), the internet-based information system, seeks to provide a “single window” service appealing to various information demands.
Farmers Market is a unique move by some state governments known as Uzhavar Santhai (Tamil Nadu), Rythu Bazaars (Andhra Pradesh), and Apna Mandi (Punjab). These markets research the huge potential of agri-entrepreneurship training.
The Agriclinic and Agribusiness Centre scheme, launched by the Ministry of Agriculture along with NABARD, aims to tap the expertise of the large pool of agri-graduates.
Key challenges for Agri-Entrepreneurship
Lack of technological dissemination
Complex legal formalities
Lack of technical understanding
Poor quality control and other bottlenecks in the growth of agripreneurship
Recommendations to address the fundamental challenges
Financial institutions and banks must assure prompt financial security to entrepreneurs
Proper supply of scarce raw materials
Adequate training facilities are needed
It is important to understand the relationship between Entrepreneurship and Marketing, especially contractual marketing and digital marketing