Right interventions for regulatory farming
Ever since K Chandrashekhar Rao took over as Chief Minister of Telangana, rural economy has been consistently and progressively getting strengthened day by day.
Ever since K Chandrashekhar Rao took over as Chief Minister of Telangana, rural economy has been consistently and progressively getting strengthened day by day. Towards this as an essentiality and to begin with, KCR pulled the power sector out of severe crisis that was prevailing then and ensured continuous 24X7 hour free quality power supply to the farm sector. This paid rich dividends to agriculture.
Irrigation projects were taken up next and most of them are in the process of near completion. Lakhs of acres of land has already been brought under cultivation. An unprecedented paddy crop was seen this year. The hereditary professions were revived. As a follow-up of investment subsidy for agriculture, popularly known as Rythu Bandhu coupled with Rythu Bima, the regulatory farming has been successfully initiated and there has been widescale support to this from farmers across the state.
Under the regulatory farming besides change in crop pattern, use of fertilisers, bring to the market the produce in a regulatory manner, protecting the strength of the soil, analysis on the market conditions, research will also become part of it. The CM suggested that the MGNREGA scheme should be extended to agriculture and be implemented strategically for creating facilities and for the necessary works in the rural areas besides providing employment to the agriculture labour. Village wise plans are underway. Utilising the resources of MGNREGA Scheme for restoration of water channels to provide better irrigation facilities in villages across the state has also been given a thought.
Against this background an expert opinion from KS Gopal of Centre for Environment Concerns, a Hyderabad based voluntary organisation, engaged in the field of agriculture and allied sectors for a long time, focusses on MGNREGA Scheme woks and marketing strategy involving many stakeholders and players.
According to Gopal, Indian agriculture eco-system is witnessing dynamic changes from procurement to markets, crop diversification, changing food basket, health consciousness, rising diversified urban demand, new cultivars, micro-nutrients, poly house, mechanisation, technology, big business, value add, supply chains, brands and young talent, inspirations etc.
On anvil are power and fertiliser subsidy reforms, regulations of land and water and land management. On top is dynamic unleashed with structural reforms of one nation one market, contract farming, self-reliance, ease of investments in agriculture infrastructure etc. New players with business models, deep pockets and smart technology will lead the transformation and agriculture is poised for growth with higher GDP share.
In place are mitigation measures like MGNREGS, PDS, Pensions, Health Insurance while universal Basic Income is on the table of policy makers. While social protection is vital, so are the structural changes for wider income and wealth distribution in a post-Covid era. In this context, how to social engineer, drive and to unleash human creativity towards a more equitable economy is the question. Ideas, opportunities and the pathways on how Government and knowledge agencies secure the future of all stakeholders are plenty says Gopal.
Telangana has roughly fifty million people with 40per cent in urban areas and the rest in rural areas. Telangana will double its production with assured irrigation for two crop seasons cultivation, increase in groundwater due to revival of tanks and 24 x 7 free electricity supplies. KCR has provided the farmers, the basis to successful farming, namely water. It is poised as seed capital of India and of exports to the world. KCR is pursuing market demand-based crop cultivation of higher grade or quality to harvest best price realization for farmers.
Telangana has diversified crops: paddy, maize, cotton, legumes, oil seeds, flowers, fruits, vegetables etc. For these outputs it buys inputs of fertilizers, insecticides, seeds and equipment leasing. A quick estimation shows Telangana agriculture business has 200,000 crore rupees value annually and growing fast and has a huge business opportunity. Proper planning of creative capabilities of rural youth with energy of farmers as development multiplier with cascading impact is the need of hour says Gopal.
More is possible to talented young entrepreneurs to increase income and of farmers: farm services of higher market price realisation, scheduling of sowing and harvesting, aggregation, grading, sorting and packing, certification, traceability to supply assured quality to super markets or direct marketing to consumers and services such as sourcing, data, quality control, branding, for contract farming.
Aim high as knowledge providers of services of seed, graft, tissue culture, soil health amendments, crops based nutrient application, quantity, mixing and timely application of fertilizers, nutrients and insecticides, poly house, water use efficiency per kg of crop, disease control, training and pruning of fruit trees and ecological practices etc. Choice to select services will result in competition of value driven services with local knowledge base for resilient, sustainable and climate smart agriculture.
State's T-Hub has been globally acknowledged as prestigious platform on next genre ideas and innovations with business skills, digital applications and networks that are entrepreneur centric. T-Hub has growing domain expertise in agriculture and technology applications for rural development. It will bring synergy of rural and urban talent guided by mentors. It will freshen continual learning to deliver high quality farm centric entrepreneurs. It is autonomous and earns revenues by offering continuing value client driven services to upgrade and help succeed on the new business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Farmers will pay for high quality services with a value offer.
Netherlands' idea on the architecture and ecosystem led successfully to build local production and price to succeed to dominate global agriculture markets and with value-add innovations. India is a huge domestic market and export demands and opportunities are rising. Telangana must provide triggers and incentives for market success by providing the mezzanine on which the young entrepreneurs build future with hope, confidence, lower risks and value efficiency.
The agriculture market is poised to dynamic changes. Telangana must fashion the market structure for gains on the economic pie that maximize and spread the dividends equitably. The key elements in ease of doing business such as RegulatoryFarming Policy calls for technology interventions and platforms that will help to re-imagine business models and services delivery to enable a large number of young rural entrepreneurs.
The Research and Innovation Circle Hyderabad (RICH) at T-Hub, that has been conceived to unlock the national treasure created by the top scientific research institutions in Telangana State, and to actively facilitate the process of taking their research to market may be stepped into action to serve as a force multiplier for a large number of young people to secure decent livelihoods, with ear and foot on the soil opines KS Gopal. It is high time that ideas are solicited at appropriate levels from cream of playersin the process, on next steps in agriculture.