Agriculture is of primary importance to the Indian economy. A large proportion of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture for employment. It is the source of livelihood for 70% of the Indian masses. 16% of India’s GDP comes from agriculture. India also exports a large proportion of its agricultural products to the international markets; making agriculture one of the biggest sources of its income from trade. Of course, non-agricultural sectors are also rapidly developing in the country. Yet, they haven’t been able to match up to the contributions made by the agriculture sector owing to the rapid population expansion.
Agriculture in India is largely dependent on the monsoons. Issues like climate change and reduction in rainfall affect the sector in every possible way. Drought-like situations and debt-ridden farmers driven to committing suicide have become way too “normal” to grab eyeballs anymore. But, if ignored now, this can pose a serious threat to coming generations and, not to forget, the economy as a whole.
Let us try and see how the youth can help the agriculture sector in India.
In an agro-based economy like India, there can be no better way of reducing poverty than building a strong agricultural sector. When it comes to career choices, you will listen to people saying that they aspire to become doctors, engineers and so on. Even farmers’ families want to break free from the family occupation and choose other careers. The youth and those who have the access to education and infrastructure should venture into the sector and revive it from its troubled times.
Produce Young Entrepreneurs
when tapped in the correct way, agriculture can prove to be a goldmine for entrepreneurs. The largely ignored sector needs young and educated brainpower who can put developmental research into practice to incentivize productive investment in small farm businesses. Such investment will foster benefits in a two-fold way. Firstly, with the presence of forward-looking young entrepreneurs, the system, otherwise characterized by declining number of supernormal profit earning middlemen, is bound to become more centralized. Secondly, with the decline of swindling middlemen, the incentive structure will favor the actual farm owners to put in more effort and thereby earn higher profits. Young entrepreneurs would also bring with them advanced knowledge of production, thereby striving to get closer to the frontiers of technological advancement.
Application of Innovations
A big problem with the system of Indian agriculture is that unlike other agrarian, more developed economies, a large part of it is still heavily dependent on the climate. This leads to a higher variance in crop yield depending on the monsoon season in any given year. Young entrepreneurs who are expected to be more integrated with foreign techniques of production as compared to their aged counterparts would be keener to undertake innovation activities to reduce this over-dependence on climate. Though undertaking innovation can incur fixed cost, the benefits are more long-term in nature as they would increase the returns in future. Young entrepreneurship is also expected to witness better levels of economic integration with both nationalized and foreign banks to facilitate improved credit transactions, thereby making it easier to incur fixed costs in production.
Studies have shown that in 20 years Indian labour force is going to increase by 32%. The country needs to have the infrastructure to equip this massive population with the ability to meet its economic needs. With agriculture constituting such a major portion of our economy, it is only imperative that the youth who will constitute this massive labour force, should step into the sector and work towards keeping it abreast with the latest methods that could help improve the sector.