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Evaluating the trends in socio-economic development

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Considering that agriculture only contributes a total of 15.87% in the country’s service sector Gross Value Added (GVA), it’s important that the agriculture and allied sectors develop enough to contribute a larger share, writes Dr Amol Gawande, Assistant Director-Placement, Global Business School and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil University, for Elets News Network (ENN)

Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, once said that agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy and should, therefore, be a priority for the Government. The Vice President also mentioned that there is a huge need to bridge the gap between urban and rural India so that the country can progress towards being the third largest economy in the world. The first place to focus on, therefore, is Rural India since it has become a hub for economic activities with agriculture playing an important role.

Dr Amol Gawande, Assistant Director-Placement, Global Business School and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil University

Dr Amol Gawande, Assistant Director-Placement, Global Business School and Research Centre, Dr D Y Patil University

However, the bigger question is how does a country with a large youth population focus on developing its rural sectors. The solution to this problem comes in the form of agribusiness and competent agribusiness professionals.

What is agribusiness?

In simple terms, it’s the business of agricultural production. Various public and private sector organizations are in the business of carrying out these activities.  It encompasses all the activities related to agriculture. It includes agrichemicals, breeding, soil management, weather forecasting, crop production, distribution, farm machinery, processing, seed supply,  plant protection, crop nutrient management, harvesting, marketing of produce, storage, supply chain operations, financing, food processing, retailing etc.

For those aspiring to be an agribusiness professional, an MBA in Agribusiness is the fastest route to success. An MBA in Agribusiness is a two-year full-time course offered by various business schools. These business schools have curriculums designed to ensure that they shape the youth of today into competent management professionals prepared to succeed in the agriculture and food industry.

The next question is why should you opt for an MBA in agribusiness? Let’s take a look at some statistics that can answer this question.

  • According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the Indian agricultural services and machinery sector has attracted an inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) of USD  2,278.3 million from April 2000 to March 2016
  • According to IBEF, The GDP of agriculture and allied sectors in India stood at USD 244.74 billion in the financial year 2016
  • According to IBEF, India is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices and spice products. India is the second largest fruit producer in the world and the third largest in terms of farm and agriculture outputs
  • Agricultural export accounts for 10% of the country’s exports and is the fourth largest commodity to be exported.

The Government has also spearheaded various initiatives to ensure that India’s agricultural and rural sector witness massive growth in the coming years.

According to IBEF, the Union Budget 2018-19 announced the start of an Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund to develop and upgrade the infrastructure in 22,000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) and 585 APMCs. 42 mega food parks were also sanctioned in 2017 out of which eight had been made operational by July 2018.

Over the past few years, studies have identified various trends that can directly affect a nation’s economic growth with the help of agriculture and its allied sectors. Here is a look at two of these trends:

Economic development and pro-poor growth

In low-income countries, the engine that propels economic growth consists of tradables such as agriculture, IT, Tourism, and manufacturing. Agricultural trade plays a significant role in this growth. Therefore, governments must increase the income that filters through rural India with the help of policies like extension services, land redistribution, and better access to credit which will ultimately help agricultural trade to flourish.

Linkages between agricultural and non-agricultural sector

“The rural non-farm sector is a poorly understood component of the rural economy of developing countries and we know relatively little about its role in the broader development process,” as stated in “The Rural Non-Farm Sector: Issues and Evidence from Developing Countries” by  Lanjouw.

Increased rural income from crop production can affect various regions where income is re-spent on local goods and services. These effects are called “agricultural growth linkages,” and are an important element in improving the rural industry. In recent years, discussion about inter-sectoral linkages in agriculture has increased and has led to the identification of five types of linkages:

  1. Providing food for domestic consumption,
  2. Releasing labour for industrial employment,
  3. Enlarging the market for domestic industrial output,
  4. Increasing the supply of domestic savings,
  5. Earning foreign exchange

Therefore, it’s easy to understand that pursuing a career in agribusiness will put you on a path to success. Let’s take a look at what your career will look like after you graduate with an MBA in Agribusiness.  You can choose to work in:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Operations
  • Research and Consulting
  • Strategy and planning
  • Academic position
  • Entrepreneurship

You can occupy the following job roles:

  • Agribusiness Managers
  • Research Analysts
  • Marketing Managers
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Agricultural Insurance Managers
  • Quality Control Managers or Supply Managers
  • Commodity Traders
  • Business Analysts
  • Consultants
  • Farm Managers
  • Bank Managers
  • Financial Advisors
  • Credit Officers
  • Trainers
  • Agribusiness Entrepreneurs and more

You can work in industries such as:

  • Food Production Companies like PepsiCo, Britannia, Marico, Parle, Yellow Diamond, Haldiram Foods etc.
  • Farm Input Companies like Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, PI Industries, UPL, Adventz etc.
  • Farm Machinery Companies such as Mahindra, TAFE, EICHER, John Deer etc.
  • Banking and Financial Service and Insurance (BFSI) companies such as SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI, Bajaj, NBHC Finserv
  • Retail Industries such as Big Basket, Reliance, Ninja Kart, Futures Group etc.
  • Post-harvest companies like NBHC, NCML, Cargill, ADM, Bunge, LDC etc.
  • Several emerging industries such as e-commerce players are also potential employers.

A nation’s socio-economic development is directly linked to its agriculture sector. With the help of Agribusiness, you can play a major role in developing your nation and ensuring that it reaches newer heights.

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