Expectations of the agriculture industry from the new agri minister

India is a large and diverse country and it is ranked among the top producers of food crops in the world. The agricultural sector is one of the most important economic pillars of the country providing 16.2% of the GDP and absorbing 59% of the total population employment. However, the sector faces significant challenges, including lack of access to modern technology, vulnerability to pests and weather uncertainties, and limited access to credit.

At this juncture, where India is on the verge of a technological intervention in agriculture, expectations from the new agriculture minister are sky-high. The agriculture industry is one of the emerging industries in India and is eagerly waiting for policies and measures that would boost the industry.

Here, we will expand on the expectations from the ministry and the key initiatives that can drive growth and sustainability in Indian agriculture.

 

1. Growing Innovation and Adoption of Technology

The Indian agricultural landscape is on the brink of a technological revolution. However, adoption of agri-tech solutions is still slow due to various barriers. We believe that the new agriculture minister will give priority to creating an enabling environment for innovation. This includes not only the use of grants and subsidies as tools for encouraging start-ups but also simplifying the present regulatory arrangements, which hinder technology assimilation.

The development of precision farming methods that can raise production while reducing environmental destruction is a very important issue to consider. This is why these technologies are being considered as the future of agriculture. However, one reason why certain farmers still don’t use those equipment is financial difficulties arising from their inability to borrow money for investment and lack of access to credit facilities. If some farmers could receive subsidies and soft loans to purchase such equipment, this would be ground-breaking.

 

2. Improve Infrastructure

For agri-tech solutions to succeed, infrastructure has to be improved enormously. The sector wants big investments in rural connectivity such as physical infrastructure like roads, storage facilities, etc., and digital infrastructure including high-speed internet access among others. Consequently, the usage of sophisticated technologies such as IoT devices, Drones, and big data analytics tools requires a steady internet connection.

 

3. Reforms and farmer policy changes

We need policy changes that will give farmer’s a voice and make farming an appealing business. Therefore  new Minister tasks should be directed at simplifying access to credit so that farmers, particularly smallholders, can get the necessary financial resources without falling into a debt trap

Apart from this, considerable effort should also be made to educate and train farmers on modern agricultural practices. This means that extension services must be restructured to include training on agri-tech solutions, understanding market trends, and adopting sustainable farming practices

 

4. Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Resilience

Climate change still presents the greatest threat to Agriculture; therefore, there is no option but to adopt sustainable practices. The ministers are required to ensure policies that support sustainability strategies in agriculture that include crop transformation, organic farming, and the use of renewable energy resources.

Programs that are useful in the improvement of the soil and how water can be conserved are paramount. There is a need to promote water harvesting techniques such as rainwater harvesting, and efficient irrigation techniques such as micro irrigation vandalizing on biofertilizers as a way of increasing resilience to climate variability. Moreover, education and incentives for the adoption of climate-smart agriculture into traditional farming systems can go a long way in reducing the effect of climate change.

 

5. Market Access and Fair Pricing

Farmers have been experiencing problems when it comes to fair pricing and market access. One of the vital things that Minister Mr. Chauhan must do is ensure transparency and efficiency in the market mechanisms. The e-NAM (National Agriculture Market) platform needs to be strengthened for farmers to get in direct contact with buyers and without middlemen benefiting from them, give better prices.

Another useful move would be creating farmer-producer organizations (FPOs) as well as cooperatives. These will help farmers have more bargaining power and also benefit from economies of scale. It is therefore important for such collective attempts to be supported through policy reforms as well as financial support

 

6. Collaboration And inclusivity

Collaborative efforts are what will determine the evolution of agriculture. We want to see attempts aimed at encouraging cooperation between public authorities, private companies, scientific institutions, and cultivators. Agri-tech solutions that encourage innovation and scalability can be promoted through partnerships between public entities and the private sector.

Inclusivity must also be a focal point. Policies should ensure that women, youth, and marginalized communities are active participants in agroecosystems. Designed programs for the specific requirements of these groups can unlock their potential, releasing untapped energies that would drive up industry-wide growth.

 

Conclusion

It is evident that Mr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan as Agriculture Minister has a great opportunity to redefine agriculture in India. With innovation, infrastructure, policy reforms, sustainability, market access and inclusion, he can set the sector on the right track towards a more prosperous and sustainable future. On this path, we, the participants of the agri-tech industry, want and are ready to contribute to the achievement of this vision by the government.

 

Dr. Sat Kumar Tomer

Founder and CEO, Satyukt Analytics Private Limited

Dr. Sat Kumar Tomer, a visionary and dynamic leader, stands as the Founder and CEO of Satyukt Analytics Private Limited, a trailblazing company at the forefront of decision analytics. With a profound commitment to sustainable water resources and agriculture, Tomer's journey from a dedicated Research Associate to a successful Techno-entrepreneur showcases his unwavering dedication and innovative mindset.

Tomer's academic journey is illustrious, marked by a Master's and PhD from the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, and a post-doctoral tenure at CESBIO, Toulouse (France). His expertise extends to the realm of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, a field that paved the way for his remarkable contributions.

Notably, Tomer's tenure as a Research Associate at the Centre National d'Études Spatiales and the Indian Institute of Science saw him delving into critical research areas. His work centered on harnessing Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) data for operational water management and flood forecasting, showcasing his prowess in merging satellite remote sensing with practical applications.

In July 2018, Tomer's passion for innovation and commitment to leveraging technology for sustainable development led to the inception of Satyukt Analytics. Under his visionary leadership, the company has emerged as a global force, employing cutting-edge technology in satellite remote sensing, machine learning, and big data analytics to address pressing challenges in industries like agriculture, finance, and insurance.

Satyukt's core innovation lies in scalable algorithms that tap into earth-observation satellite data, offering crucial insights tailored to specific needs. Noteworthy among these innovations is the revolutionary impact on crop insurance assessment, with products facilitating rapid evaluations, damage estimates, and prompt payments. Furthermore, Satyukt's insights empower agri-businesses to strategically market products in regions vulnerable to pests and diseases, bolstering sustainability.

The company's exceptional proficiency in processing microwave and SAR satellite data sets it apart, enabling year-round, all-weather solutions. This commitment resonates with the ethos of providing actionable earth observation for sustainable development. Satyukt's product portfolio includes Sat2Farm, Sat4Agri, Sat2Credit, and Sat4Risk, each catering to distinct needs and further solidifying the company's reputation as a transformative player.

Tomer's leadership has attracted grants, investments, and funding, leading to a significant milestone – profitability. Amid the competitive landscape, Satyukt's unwavering commitment to progress positions it for remarkable expansion. The company's footprint spans India, Guyana, select African countries, and its ambitious aspirations aim for a one-million-acre service area.

Looking ahead, Satyukt Analytics envisions continued growth, bolstered by enhanced brand visibility and strategic business development. With an exceptional team, a robust technological foundation, and a history of groundbreaking solutions, Sat Kumar Tomer's legacy is intertwined with reshaping decision analytics, driving sustainable development, and transforming industries globally.

 

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