The malady of small and marginal farmers in India has not been clearly understood since independence otherwise, lasting and meaningful solutions by now could have been found and redressed. Briefly the bane of Indian Agriculturists are:
- Small holdings make agriculture uneconomic so long as sub-division and fragmentation of lands continue.
- Perpetual indebtedness of small farmers driving them to poorer quality of life.
- Inability to procure quality seeds and fertilizers from Government or open market due to admixture.
- Lack of water and poor yields during rain-fed agriculture.
- Inability to market their produce to recover costs some times and wafer thin margins at other time. Both having no correlation with input costs of the farming activity.
- Israel is quietly intensifying cooperation with Indian agriculture, helping farmers multiply their income with better practices, yields and choosing the right crops or vegetables that is boosting bilateral ties.
- Open additional Centers of Excellence (COEs) all over India where Israeli farm technology can be implemented taking all factors into consideration to report success.
- Apart from the agro technical knowledge Israel has business management approach on how to manage a farm, after harvest, how to market your produce. They are looking at farmers who can invest in packing house, trucks, cold chain and marketing.
- Cooperation from Israel would also extend to satellite imaging and geographic information systems.
- One of the solution would be to engage a corporate to partner with large number of farmers in a village and make them shareholders.
- Engage professionals to do agriculture based on soil, water, high value produce and establish market linkages. Share profits as shareholders and pay them wages by engaging them as labor – that could be a Win-Win for both.
The Commercial Department at the Israeli Consulate in Bangalore is ready to assist Indian agri-businesses and farmers in their pursuit for higher return on investments.
For Further queries contact
Veshala Gajaraj – Trade Officer, Bangalore
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