On the learning curve in farm business: Mitsubishi India chief

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on December 06, 2017

Says use of new technologies can help address manpower shortage in agriculture

Mitsubishi Corporation India is exploring new business opportunities and innovation such as agriculture equipment rental and using drones in pesticide application, said Eisuke Shiozaki, Chairman and Managing Director.

These are in early stages yet and “Mitsubishi is on a learning curve in farm business,” he said in a millennium lecture organised by the Hindu Media Resource Centre at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation.

In this context, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax is a welcome step for foreign companies entering new markets as “GST is simpler to understand” as compared with the earlier tax regime, he said.

Use of new technologies in agriculture operations can help address the shortage of manpower India faces in agriculture. In Japan too, land holdings are small and the similarities could be exploited to bring in appropriate technology and equipment.

Shiozaki underscored the role of society in conservation of resources.

As much as the change in corporate mindset, the society mindset too, should change.

In the seven months that he has been in India, he could not help notice the paradox of bottled drinking water being wasted everywhere while farmers suffer water shortage.

This is “kind of mind blowing, can something be done,” he wondered.

Marine environment

As part of Mitsubishi Corporation’s initiatives in sustainable growth, he said a new company it has established, Gas4Sea hopes to encourage use of LNG as a substitute for marine diesel in seafaring vessels. Vehicle emission issues are focussed on land but the company is also looking at the marine environment.

Similarly, its investment in Cermaq, a leading player in salmon farming is aimed at conserving marine resources, he said.

Responding to a question, he said an easy way for a society to express dissatisfaction with a company not following sustainable practices is to not trade in the company’s shares.

“Buy only those of responsible companies,” he quipped. Social media is another powerful tool available to the people, he said.

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Published on December 06, 2017
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