India is primarily an agricultural country with agriculture forming the backbone of the country’s economy. The trend of stagnant agricultural productivity which existed during Independence was strengthened by the economic planning since 1950-51 and special emphasis which was laid on agriculture after 1962.
Agriculture accounts for 16% of India’s GDP and about 10% of its exports.
Though industry has a major role to play in India’s economy, the dependence of the economy on agricultural productivity can’t be denied. The blending in of rural and industry is the point of discussion at the Ground View conference hosted by PhillipCapital India in Mumbai on June 9th & 10th.
The event will bring together market leaders as well as investors from a wide-range of spectrum – auto to FMCG to cement.
Ankur Bisen, Senior Vice President at Technopak Advisors opines that assisted e-commerce is the way forward for rural India. Assisted e-commerce focuses on the new space to reach the people who are either not on internet or don’t shop online. This indeed is very relevant at a time when every farmer is part of a value chain linked to the consumer.
The past three consecutive agricultural seasons have been bad owing to deficient monsoons in India. Pradeep Kashyap, founder and CEO at Mart, better known as the father of rural India, however opines that the impact of monsoons are weakening with increasing irrigation. According to him rural demand is dependent on monsoons to a very small degree.
Government action has formulated measures to help farmers and farm productivity. But have they seen the desired result? In the words of Sudhir Kumar Goel, Additional Chief Secretary Of Agriculture in Maharashtra, government has not yet been impactful. As he rightly puts, one or two measures in isolation is not enough help for debt-ridden farmers and hence Corporate India will play an important role in a farmer’s life and vice-versa.
The takeaway from the investor meet would be that in order to ensure the growth of India as a whole, rural sector cannot be neglected. It is indeed the rural stratum that is ushering in a new growth engine for India’s corporate sector.