- Agriculture, in a broad sense includes farming, animal husbandry, agro-inputs, dairy products, horticulture, floriculture, sericulture, fisheries and forestry/herbal produce. Many of these have acquired a status of independent industries.
- Per capita daily caloric intake for the world’s population is now 2800 kcal, compared to 2280 kcal in the early 1960’s, and continues to rise (FAO, 2006 and the State of Food and Agriculture Report 2007, FAO).
- India has improved its position in agricultural and food exports to 10th globally, backed by policy impetus from the government.
- The domestic market for processed foods is not only huge but is growing fast in tandem with the economy. It is estimated to be worth $90 billion.
- India has also produced and exported around 1.34 million metric tons (MT) of certified organic products which includes all varieties of food products namely Sugarcane, Cotton, Basmati rice, Pulses, Tea, Spices, Coffee, Oil Seeds, Fruits and their value added products as per APEDA.
- In the last five years, the country’s agriculture exports have tripled from around INR 80,000 crore (US$ 12.75 billion) to INR 2.32 trillion(US$ 33.99 billion), said Mr. Sharad Pawar, Union Minister for Agriculture, Government of India.
- Total exports of Indian agro and processed food products from April to August 2013 stood at US$ 9,711.09 million as compared to US$ 8,806.41 million during the same period last year, according to the data released by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority(APEDA).
- It is observed that globalization and liberalization have created opportunities for multinationals and they have entered into contract farming. This provides a good scope for government and related agencies to establish linkages between these multinationals and local farmers. Policies and schemes will play an important role in achieving this.
- Food processing industries, floriculture and horticulture have also started attracting farmers as a part of commercialization of agriculture. It is felt that farmers will have to build their capacities with regard to optimum use of new technology & techniques.
- PLACON feels that there is tremendous scope for government and private training institutes to conduct capacity building trainings for existing as well as aspiring farmers on variety of subjects covering technical and non-technical (management) functions.
- In order to meet the food grain requirements of the Country, the agricultural productivity and its growth needs to be sustained and further improved. This implies that the government as well as agriculture associations will have to focus on future planning of agricultural activities and related estimation.
- It is also observed that without modern agricultural techniques, current population levels could not be sustained and projected near-term population growth would create stresses; which would destabilize the current global social and political order.
- PLACON has learnt that steady investments in technology development, irrigation infrastructure, emphasis on modern agricultural practices and provision of agricultural credit and subsidies are the major factors contributing to agriculture growth.
- It is felt that the government and private sector should jointly promote agricultural activities through PPP Model. Private sector funding coupled with appropriate policies and subsidies by government will create huge opportunity for farmers to cultivate their lands to meet the growing demands of agricultural produce.
- PLACON feels that the mindset of farmers will have to be changed. Education, training and exposure to farmers will be necessary. Government and related associations/agencies will have to identify the capacity building needs of the farmers; and associate with appropriate training institutes/centers for imparting the trainings.
- Young generation of farmers should be provided exposure to agri-business aspect like financial assistance, infrastructure, global markets etc.
PLACON derives its strength in this Sector from academic qualifications and personal experience of Dr P V Desai, Managing Director, PLACON. Dr Desai holds Master’s Degree in Commerce (M.Com) with specialisation in (i) Agriculture & Co-operation; (ii) Rural Development; (iii) Organisation of Industries; and (iv) Labour Administration..Given below are PLACON’s areas of expertise for consultancy services in Agriculture sector.
- Concept development
- Project feasibility studies
- Proposal and DPR preparation
- Detailed need assessment studies
- Institutional assessment
- Farmers’ trainings and capacity building
- Formation and assessment of government policies in agriculture, farmers’ livelihoods, women, agro industry development, rural poverty reduction etc
- Research on farming practices, rural development issues, agriculture infrastructure and poor farmers’ livelihoods
- Designing national as well as international seminars and conferences on relevant agriculture & agro industry issues and themes