Agri Business

Global think-tank moots entrepreneurship model for agriculture revival

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on December 08, 2020 Published on December 08, 2020

An employee of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute sprays the newly-developed bio-decomposer solution on a field to prevent stubble burning at a village in the North Delhi district. Photo: PTI

Said, entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities are diverse across countries, demanding specific, tailored solutions

While the farmers’ agitation is at its peak in India, Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has advocated the entrepreneurship route to sustainable agriculture, youth empowerment and rural transformation.

Suresh Babu, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Capacity Strengthening at the IFPRI, was speaking at the webinar series titled ‘Disruption & the New Normal’ by the ISED Small Enterprise Observatory at the Institute of Small Enterprises and Development.

While agriculture has been able to withstand the pains of the Covid-19-induced disruption in the economy at least to some extent, the sector, globally, has been shaken by the overall crash in trade and demand. While the low absorptive capacity of agriculture is well-recognised, alternatives offering enhanced productivity and larger employment opportunities need to be explored. Entrepreneurial solutions alone can offer the best path for coming out of the impasse. Such an alternative lies in the active engagement of job creators in the rural sector, he said.

Also read: Saving the food value chain amid Covid lockdown

Youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and allied activities hold substantial potential, says the economist. Objectively, the potential is both on the demand and supply sides. On the demand side, youth unemployment is on the rise, globally as also in India, demanding immediate solutions.

On the supply side, they are more tech-savvy and are amenable to adaptation and change. This is especially important in an era where Industry 4.0, as the key paradigm change, is likely to bring in massive changes in the economy, as also in the way we do things.

Citing the comparative experience of India with that of smaller countries such as Bangladesh, and Nigeria, Babu indicated that the entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities are diverse across countries, demanding specific and tailored solutions.

However, the prevailing solutions today are mostly based on static models, constrained by lack of flexibility, and design-delivery gap. This calls for flexible and integrated models, he added.

The interactive session was moderated by PM Mathew, Senior Fellow and Director, ISED.

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Published on December 08, 2020
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