Indian economy depends on agriculture which supports 20 % of its GDP with 40% jobs. Approximately 70% of our population lives in rural area surviving on agriculture and allied sectors.
Agriculture today faces many challenges, including Climate change , globalization and market liberalization, food price crises, natural resource depletion, rapid urbanization, changing production and consumption patterns, demographic changes etc . Many of them affect changing markets. They create both opportunities and risks for marginal farmers .
Agripreneurship refers to entrepreneurship in agriculture. Where, entrepreneurship is a concept that encompasses transforming an idea or vision into “new business or new venture or the expansion of an existing business, by an individual, a team of individuals, or an established business”.
Also Agripreneurship is the process of adopting new methods, processes, techniques in pre-harvest /post-harvest agriculture and allied disciplines.
Sustainable agriculture suggests a holistic, systems-oriented approach to farming that focuses on the interrelationships of social, economic, and environmental processes. It helps in inducing productivity gains by marginal farmers integrating them with local, national, and international markets. It helps in reducing food costs, supply uncertainties, and improving diets of the rural and urban poor.
It also generates growth, increasing and diversifying income, and providing entrepreneurial opportunities in both rural and urban areas viz. forward and backward linkages with secondary and tertiary sectors i.e. Manufacturing and Service sectors, Agri inputs, Farming, Value chain, output processing and marketing and related services. Presently the scope and potential of Agripreneurial opportunities are increasing as a result of globalization and interconnected world markets. For example increasing focus on organic farming changes whole perspective of the Global agricultural industry.
Women Agripreneurs :
Nowadays government is focusing on women agripreneurs for better balance in society and women empowerment. This helps women to step ahead and take charge of their businesses, assert better position and earn stable monetary income.
Here are some of the measures to boost women agripreneurs.
- Land ownership: The foremost thing needed to be done is land entitlement in the name of female members of the household so that women will become self-sustained, independent in decision-making, getting easy access to banks credit.
- Agricultural cooperatives: In many developing countries, women work individually, often isolated, in the informal economy, operating at lower level of activity reaping marginal income. Joining forces in small-scale cooperatives may provide them with much-needed economic, social & political leverage.
SHG: Self-help groups (SHG): SHGs are small voluntary associations of people preferably from same socio- economic background based on the concept of solving common problems through self-help and mutual help. The present concept of SHG may be rejuvenated with a focus
on empowerment of women through agripreneurship.
- MSME in agriculture: Micro, small and medium- enterprises in the agriculture sector may play a crucial role to promote women empowerment while fighting against poverty and gender inequity. They have been identified globally as engines of growth leading to generating new jobs in developing countries driving innovation and economic dynamism.
- Policy implications: In the current decade number of policies emphasized entrepreneurship in agriculture like the DEDS (Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme, Agri Udaan etc.)
Challenges in promoting Agripreneurship :
- Inadequate Infrastructural Facilities
- Lack of Entrepreneurial Culture among farmers
- Migration of Skilled & Talented Workforce from rural
- areas to urban destinations
- Poor Technologies and Equipment
- Lack of Information
- Lack of Proper Transportation & logistics
- Inadequate Institutional Measures & Govt. Policies
- Problems in the Marketing of Agricultural Product
- High costs of Physical Logistics
Inspite of the above the agriculture sector has large potential to contribute to the national income while providing direct employment and income to the numerically larger and vulnerable section of society. Agripreneurship is not only an opportunity but also a necessity for improving production and profitability in the agriculture sector leading to prosperity among large rural populace.
Agripreneurship Development will help Indian economy to leverage rural strengths to achieve growth in the primary sector and to contribute to overall rural development. Agripreneurship Development offers excellent results both at rural & macro levels.An individual with risk-bearing capacity and a quest for the latest knowledge in the agriculture sector shall prove to be the right agripreneur.
Agripreneurship is not only an opportunity but also a necessity for improving production and profitability in agriculture and allied sector in the country paving the path of overall prosperity in rural India.