Agripreneurship: A Strategy for upliftment of Agriculture and Economic Growth of India

Abstract :

For their primary source of income, India's rural population is largely dependent on agriculture and related activities. A continuing global concern is ensuring food security for a growing population in an era of ageing farmer populations and declining young involvement in agriculture. In this study, the primary topics covered were the basics of agribusiness, the need for its development in India. An understanding of how young people regard agriculture is provided by this review study. The study also covered government attempts to support agriculture entrepreneurship in India as well as challenges faced by young agripreneurs. Agriculture offers a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurship, but this potential can only be realised with efficient agri-element management. In order to attract young agricultural graduates, strategies that target the factors that determine agripreneurship should be developed. Agriculture must overcome a range of obstacles that impede growth and competitiveness.

Keywords :
Agripreneurship, Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Skills, Employment Generation, Poverty Reduction and Agribusiness.

    India's economy is primarily agrarian. Since agricultural produce are significant sources of raw materials for many industries, so, agriculture is regarded as the foundation of the Indian economy. (Bairwa et al., 2014a). Agriculture was previously thought of as merely the tilling of land and the harvesting of crops, but the expansion of waste land, depletion of natural resources, increasing migration of young people from rural to urban areas, negative perception of farming among young generation, and development of new agricultural technologies have forced a redesign of agricultural practises. Increased agricultural productivity, new company initiatives, jobs, innovative goods and services, the development of rural areas, and increased wealth are just a few of the economic advantages that can result from using the theory and practise of entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture.

    A well-trained agripreneur may become an inspiration to all of these discouraged farmers by using the management, technical, and creative talents of entrepreneurship in the field of agriculture. (Marichamy, 2016). This is especially needed for developing nations like India, where at least 75% of the population depends on subsistence farming to meet their needs for food production. The need to inspire young people to run creative businesses as agripreneurs thus exists in order to elevate poverty, food insecurity, and youth unemployment. Agricultural entrepreneurship assists in transforming agricultural activities into new businesses and innovative strategies that enable rural residents to benefit from economic growth.

    An Agripreneurs is someone who commences a variety of activities in agriculture and its allied sectors with an entrepreneurial spirit. (Garima et al., 2022). Moreover, acquisition of agripreneurship capabilities may contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty reduction and economic growth (ILO, 2014; Mukembo, 2017).
    • Explore the fundamentals of agripreneurship and its necessity for development in India.
    • Analyse government initiatives supporting agripreneurship in India.
    • To Identify challenges faced by young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs).
    Sah (2009) imply that encouraging agricultural entrepreneurship will completely solve the issue and will create jobs for young people in remote areas, limiting the flow of people from rural to urban areas, increase the country's income, encourage industrial growth in rural areas, lessens the strain on metropolitan areas. First off, more educated youth might increase agricultural output, enhance food security, and help achieve the Goals about ending hunger. Second, improved skills can contribute to the expansion of the agricultural industry and the long-desired transformation of agriculture in India. This argues that while improving their skills and ability for agricultural development, more young people should be encouraged to engage in agripreneurship. Considering this, developing nations should prioritise creating measures to encourage young people with creativity and adventure to work in agriculture. (Adeyanju et al., 2023). Carefully constructed agripreneurship programmes will mend youth’s ways in favour of either agripreneurship or managerial workforce to serve the agricultural sector across the globe (Bairwa et al., 2014)
    The perception of agriculture among young people is negative. In order to enhance engagement, methods that could alter young people's unfavourable perceptions of agricultural interventions must be put into place. It is necessary to persuade young agripreneurs of the programmes' potential to offer them worthwhile incentives and utility for participation in order to get them involved in such agripreneurship programmes. In India, there are 1.5 million postgraduates and over 2 million graduates without jobs. 47% of graduates are unfit for any kind of industry position.

    Similar to this, the importance of access to training in enhancing agripreneurship abilities emphasises the need to make training opportunities more accessible to adolescents via channels that appeal to them. For instance, stakeholders involved in youth agribusiness empowerment can disseminate information about empowerment programmes using social media. (Adeyanju et al., 2023). The employment of agribots, precision farming, greenhouse farming, organic farming, and the application of artificial intelligence and smart technology in cultivation, crop management, harvesting to post-harvest management are some of the modern themes favoured by contemporary tech-savvy agripreneurs. (Ajili et al., 2012; Caro & Cavallo, 2019).
    Entrepreneurs share characteristics like single-mindedness, drive, ambition, creativity, problem-solving, pragmatism, and goal-orientation.(Marichamy, 2016). Students should master the many entrepreneurship-related skills in order to succeed as agripreneurs. (Mukembo, 2017). They include, among other traits and abilities, independence and autonomy, creativity, perseverance, adaptability, goal-setting, high internal locus of control, leadership, market awareness, opportunity recognition, persistence, power or control, risk-taking propensity, self-efficacy, social networks/connections, and vision. (Gurol & Atsan, 2006; Mitchelmore & Rowley, 2010; Morris et al., 2013). Such competencies vary across the entrepreneurship literature. (Gurol & Atsan, 2006; Neck & Greene, 2011), yet it's important to note that no one skill or characteristic has been able to accurately identify the characteristics of a typical entrepreneur. (Fiet, 2001). Yet, entrepreneurial abilities can result from the blending of cognitive and personality traits and can be seen in an entrepreneur's actions, attitudes, knowledge, and values. (Morris et al., 2013). As a result, these can be assessed by observation of behaviours, attitude changes, entrepreneurial ambitions, and knowledge gaps—all of which can be acquired and changed through entrepreneurship education. (Blok et al., 2014). Agripreneurship Skills required by Farmers.
    Compared to 11% worldwide, 52% of India's land is suitable for cultivation. Twenty agroclimatic areas and around forty-five of the sixty soil types exist in the nation. The length of the day and the amount of sunshine are perfect for year-round agricultural production. (Marichamy (2016). 20.19% of the nation's GDP, 15.2% of all exports, and 54.6% of the labour force are employed in agriculture. (Report annually, 2020–21).

    India ranks first globally for pulses, fourth for coarse grains, and the world's second-largest producer of rice and wheat. India is another significant producer of tea, sugar, cotton, sugarcane, peanuts, jute, and a variety of spices.

    In terms of actual value added, India's agriculture industry ranks third, after that of China and the US. With 134 million tons produced annually, India ranks second in the world for fruit and vegetable production. We are the world's sixth-largest fish and second-largest milk producer. This implies that governments and businesses will most likely continue to view agriculture as a primary concern. Owing to the above mentioned factors, Indian agriculture has to transform into an agribusiness, a feat that can only be achieved via the expansion of agripreneurship.
    Despite numerous initiatives to improve agripreneurship in rural areas, there are very few of them because of the numerous difficulties in the region. Some of the major challenges faced by agripreneurs, particularly first generation agripreneurs, include a lack of technical expertise, a lack of institutional support, a lack of government and bank support, risk and marketing issues, a lack of extension services, a lack of adequate market knowledge, high costs, a lack of government subsidies and policies, and a lack of better infrastructure facilities.(Garima et al., 2022). (John & Kispotta 2016) highlighted the difficulties women agricultural entrepreneurs had in obtaining loans from banks, marketing issues, business and technical issues, the difficulty in obtaining raw materials, etc. Agripreneurship has enormous potential and potential, but it can only be used if various agricultural activities are successfully managed. So, effective planning and policy intervention could aid in improving the agricultural sector and helping to develop potential solutions for rural residents who are disadvantaged.
    When the government announces favourable policies and implements appropriate and workable marketing methods, agripreneurs will be greatly motivated.(Yoganandan et al., 2022). The World Bank estimates that more than 40% of young people who join rebel organisations do so due to a lack of employment and other chances to earn money. In order to reduce youth unemployment, there is an increasing need for urgent policy- and program-level initiatives. In response, the Indian government and its development partners have launched coordinated initiatives, with a specific concentration on agriculture, aimed at encouraging a move away from traditional formal employment and towards entrepreneurship.

    7.1 Agriclinics and Agribusiness Centres (ACABC) scheme
    The Agriclinics and Agribusiness Centres (ACABC) project was launched in India in 2002, and as a result, the concept of an agripreneur was presented to the nation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare (MoA & FW) introduced the ACABC scheme to expand the supply of inputs and services to farmers and give unemployed agricultural graduates gainful self-employment through agribusiness. (Afroz et al. 2020).

    8.2 Agriculture Entrepreneurship Promotion Scheme
    The government of Odisha introduced this programme during the "Made in Odisha Colloquium 2018" to support agricultural businesses in rural areas. It is a plan to encourage agricultural entrepreneurship in Odisha in order to recover the agricultural sector. Three years after its announcement, this system will be put into place. All rural entrepreneurs will receive training as part of the programme, and 1000 trained entrepreneurs will benefit from it.

    7.3 Initiative for Development of Entrepreneurs in Agriculture (IDEA)
    The programme aims to encourage agribusiness initiatives in the North-East Area and help make agribusiness a successful business. Also, it offers chances for lucrative employment and opens up additional sources of input supply and services.

    7.4 Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development
    The Ministry of Agriculture has launched a programme called "Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development" under the purview of Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojana with the aim of fostering innovation and agri-entrepreneurship. The initiative, which was introduced in 2018–19, provided financial and technical support for fostering agribusiness entrepreneurs, particularly aggrotech startups that used digital methods. These are the elements of the Scheme for Innovation and Agri-Entrepreneurship Development:
    • Seed Stage Funding as grant-in-aid to Startups
    • Agripreneurship Orientation
    • Idea/ Pre-Seed Stage Funding
    7.5 Agripreneurship Incubation and Orientation Centres
    The Agri Companies Incubation Centre is designed to give innovations the support they need to be validated, scaled up, and encouraged to reach users as attractive business opportunities. Researchers and innovators should find it easier to develop their ideas into profitable businesses with the help of the ABI centre. The centre’s primary initiatives will be business development programmes and entrepreneurship skill-building exercises. ICAR currently has 456 Agri-Business Incubation (ABI) Centres to support creative startups and early-stage business owners. (Bhooshan and Sharma 2020). Through the Agripreneurship Incubation and Orientation programme under the RKVY RAFTAAR ABI initiative, the Indian government is also encouraging and developing entrepreneurial activity into companies. (Singh et al. 2020).

    7.6 RKVY RAFTTAR Agribusiness scheme
    The Rastriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) is a significant programme run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare (MoA&FW) of the Government of India. Its goal is to improve infrastructure in agriculture and related fields in order to encourage agripreneurship and agribusiness through financial support and the development of the incubation ecosystem. A new element under the redesigned programme, RAFTAAR (Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture This plan calls for both the establishment of new agricultural incubators and the strengthening of current ones.

    7.7 Other Government Schemes
    The development of the aggrotech industry has been aided by the government. In Hyderabad, it has opened the National Centre for Management and Agricultural Extension (MANAGE). The Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS) will be computerised with funding from the government totalling Rs. 2,000 crores, with the primary goal of enhancing cooperatives' access to digital technology.
    According to the study's findings, the main obstacles and constraints that first generation agripreneurs face when deciding whether to pursue a career in entrepreneurship include a lack of funding sources, marketing challenges, the risk of failure associated with the perishable nature of agricultural products, a lack of technical expertise and a lack of management experience, marketing challenges, problems with human resource management, etc. So, removing these obstacles is crucial for business success, and these difficulties are manageable. The government ought to support programmes that help first-generation agripreneurs develop their entrepreneurial abilities. Despite the success of agribusiness in India, other prospective young people, particularly graduates in agriculture, have not yet investigated the field. Hence, in order to draw young agriculture graduates, policies that focus on the factors that influence agripreneurship should be developed. Such tactics will be highly beneficial for the accomplishment of modern government programmes, such as the RKVY RAFTTAR Agriculture programme (AFROZ et al., 2022). It is obvious that there is significant room for entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector, but this potential can only be realised through efficient management of agri-elements like soil, seed, water, and market requirements. An individual with a willingness to take risks and a thirst for the most recent information in the agriculture business may prove to be an effective agripreneur.
    This conceptual research looked at how agribusiness may be used to solve urgent problems in Indian agriculture. The study examined frameworks for agribusiness development, examined how young people view agriculture, assessed government programmes that support agribusiness entrepreneurship, pinpointed theoretical opportunities and challenges, and even suggested a strategy for drawing in recent graduates. All of this was done through a theoretical lens. The report emphasizes how important agribusiness is to fostering innovation, improving productivity, and making the agriculture industry more attractive to young people. This study establishes the foundation for future research by comprehending the theoretical underpinnings of youth participation, government initiatives, and career choices.

    By gathering data from youth, agribusiness development stakeholders, and agricultural professionals, future empirical research may expand on this basis. The aforementioned data holds potential for validating the theoretical models put out and offering useful suggestions for politicians, educators, and youth who have an interest in agriculture jobs. In the end, India must develop a strong agribusiness ecosystem in order to guarantee food security for its expanding population, generate job opportunities for youth, and support a more successful and sustainable agricultural sector.
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