My vision for the future of Indian agriculture
Till last February, I had no connection to agriculture. I had never even been to a farm (still haven’t) or talked to a farmer. And here I am today, talking about a future of the entire industry. So why shall you even care about my vision?
Last June, I released an app for farmers which managed its way in hands of 1.5 lakh farmers from Madhya Pradesh in one year. But that’s not what gave me my vision of the future.
6 months ago, I did an introspection and I realised that I hadn’t achieved much for any of my users. So I decided to understand what it will take to help farmers. I started my research by going through 100 success stories of farmers from various backgrounds.
It took me 6 months since then to cook the vision I present here today,
- Farmers will learn to improve the efficiency of their agriculture. They will do so on their own farms and expand their agriculture land by renting from others. This improved efficiency will allow small farmers to expand their land under cultivation while large farm owners will rent out their farms to maintain low overhead.
- Farmers will reduce their dependency on outside ecosystem for inputs. They would rather focus on producing their own inputs or exchanging the same with their peers. Some marginal farmers would choose to specialise in producing inputs.
- Use of technology on farms will shift more towards understanding the farm better. Farmers will use this understanding to adopt smarter farm practices and run various experiments on their farms.
- Farm labour will be distributed across farms in a hyperlocal, allowing labour to earn constant income while improving labour availability for farmers. Farmers would prefer practices that distribute the need of labour across the year.
- The next generation farmers will be well informed. They will gain a lot of knowledge from interconnected peers while running on farm experiments to gain first hand insights.
- Hyperlocal communities will play a huge role in a farmer’s life. It will help in availing low cost inputs, accessible farm labour and sharing of knowledge. It will also enable farmers to fetch better price for their produce.
- Farmers would take more pride in food they produce. They will demand larger transparency and representation in the agri-value chain. An increasing awareness towards healthy eating in consumers will lead to a future where the transparency becomes essential.
- Farmers will continue relying on off-farm facilities to process & store their produce. A need of larger control though will lead to a lot of small scale agri-entrepreneurs doing the processing & storing instead of large mills.
- Purchase of farm produce will move closer and closer to farm gate. Hyperlocal, digital aggregation will allow that.
- Quality of farm produce will be defined more by how food is produced and less by technical parameters like moisture. Quality parameters of future would be the ones that a consumer and farmer can assess themselves without intervention of a third party.
While we seek to contribute to this vision with Seed Savers Club, we do not kid ourselves into believing that we will make any part of it possible. Our belief is that there is a revolution happening, with or without us. We are just one of the enablers, who will make a small contribution by making the transition smoother.