The cry of the hour!
Every agri sector is getting thoroughly bureaucratised! The way all the other initiatives in the past had turned out to be. Take Nabard itself. It had grown into well-entrenched bureaucracy, no further innovation under the existing Nabard setup is possible. There are on paper Nabard officials at every district. But in all through our agri promotion activities we never come across these “nodal” agencies ever to interact with us! We are rather only Media-cum-Internet-cum Consultancy group engaged in transforming agribusiness activities. The only redeeming feature of Indian bureaucracy, as far as we are encountering at many points is that very few State level agri/horti departments interact with us, our interactions so far have always been a positive, pleasant “win-win” development only!
The most enduring and a sort of on-going experience of this new innovative strategy has been our experience with the Karnataka Department of Horticulture. Here is a State which is surprisingly an open-minded society and government and we find a willingness to listen and take positive decisions to any new initiative. As a result, we can say with confidence, it is Karnataka Horticulture that sets the trend for further developments, may be further innovations or new joint-partnerships with similar other agencies, the idea being that you need not depend on just officials or banks alone but some intermediary agencies, NGOs or Media companies like ours, in order to bring the farmers into a series of new enterprises! In AP, again under Naidu’s regime, it was a pleasant experience to interact with the Agriculture and the Horticulture Departments (they too have two separate departments as in Karnataka) and it was again a “win-win” strategy, the two sides were happy and satisfied with the outcome.
In Kerala, the most under-resources State in terms of finances, we interacted with the Kerala Horticulture Development Agency in its former incarnation and what we have jointly achieved was a typical case of a “win-win” strategy! The CM Mr.Chandy should know!
We helped them to reach out even small farmers through our Weekly “newspaper” funded and distributed by them to the small farmers. We helped to take the new latest information, we gave publicity to the outside world through this publication, the EU Commissioner in India became our good friend and well-wisher!
We have also worked with “Manage”, the Central government agency charged with training agri entrepreneurs and our experience is rather positive only, though much more potential is there that has to be unleased. Indian agriculture badly needs a new generation, a new breed of agri entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, our agri universities are caught up in their own mindset of unchanging reality! As a result our agri graduates come out totally unprepared, untrained to face the market realities. Our experience: agri graduates are simply unemployable! Where to go and break one’s head? Our experience so far is when we have taken up projects, be it cultivation of new crops like Safedmusli or setting up processing plants in Aloevera or now Safedmusli processing plants, we find total ignorance and an unwillingness to block new ideas and new initiatives!
Do you expect the Nabard or the banks to set up these units? They don’t have the latest information or field level realities! So, we find these agencies a big stumbling blocks! Medicinal Plants Promotions Boards are not willing to share information about their subsidies!
So, we have no way to assure the farmers about the subsidies that are on paper due but in reality not forthcoming! Indian agriculture from now onwards can’t progress by the whims and fancies of politicians or officials or banks or Nabard! It has to be through the totally private initiatives and daring entrepreneurs, right?