Agro studies or agricultural studies have traditionally enjoyed plenty of focus in our country. India is basically an agricultural country and the economy of the nation was dependent on the agricultural turnover of the various remote farms and villages. Yet, in recent times, there has been a greater shift towards industrialization, especially following liberalization policies in the country that have prompted many multi nationals to set up their offices here in India. With a call for more skilled manpower with a better pay and more perks in sight, including rapid urbanization, we can see that there has been a definite shift towards all things more white collar. Yet, the backbone of the country and the economy remains agro studies since we cannot afford to stop farming in a country that has a large population size like ours. No amount of urbanization can feed us!
In recent times, there has been a definite movement towards more sustainable actions and many young people have started making a move towards careers in sustainable and new age farming. With a movement in conscious eating as well, the demand for organic food has increased and thus, many people have been seen investing in this area. Places like Pune and even smaller tier two and tier three towns as well as rural areas, have seen in influx of funds and efforts by those who want to develop farms in the outskirts so that organic farming may happen. Many of these farms actually organize school and other tours for young students so that they may pick up life skills like growing and eating organic food. In fact, agro studies seems to be of special importance for students who have a background in biology.
Highlighting the path-breaking policies of the state government to enable a trade to prosper during these challenging times Satish Mahana, Hon’ble Minister of Industrial Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh stressed upon the need to develop connections between the academia, industry and the government to create an environment for growth at a webinar hosted by Amity University. Talking about the “Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Industry & Agriculture Sector” during a virtual gathering organized by Amity Food and Agriculture Foundation, Chief Guest Shri Mahana shared various initiatives being taken by the Uttar Pradesh government to support the farmers, industries and migrant labourers while delivering the keynote address.
- Referring to the ‘Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan’ launched recently by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, which would benefit over 1.25 crore migrant workers and labourers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the minister added that the government is mapping skills of migrant labourers and is working on providing them with suitable employment opportunities. He averred the state of UP has an opportunity for the industries to progress fast as it is an era of new industrialization. He also shared the various initiatives under the Atma Nirbhar mission for the farmers and the agriculture sector adding that every individual has to contribute towards the mission. The minister also stated the various works being done by local industries in the state to provide good quality and reasonable PPE kits and ventilators.
- Scientific research and commercial activity are often considered to be as different as chalk and cheese in terms of the development of agro studies. But developed countries have shown the gains of coming up with new ideas and technology and translating these into successful commercial ventures. The emergence of, say, nanosciences as an academic discipline in the West was closely followed by the growth of industries related to these fields.
- In India, however, the linkages between research institutes and industry remain patchy. “On the one hand, scientists are typically focused on core science and may not want to work with startups and industry at large. Moreover, commercialisation of their research is not among their important goals,” says Anand Nandkumar, associate professor, Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad.
DST Secretary Ashutosh Sharma tells ET Magazine: “SATHI centres will be equipped with sophisticated instruments and smart manufacturing facilities that are generally not available at universities, R&D institutions or industry. They will provide professionally managed services with an open access policy and high transparency.”
- “SATHI means a companion. It will not only offer physical infrastructure but also trained manpower to help users make the most of the facilities,” says Sharma. “Using these machines and tools, a startup can develop a demo, prototype or produce a limited number of items to check a product’s viability or performance before they decide to produce it commercially.”
- SATHI is just one of the three initiatives of the DST’s 100-day agenda of the new government. The second is Scientific and Useful Profound Research Advancement (SUPRA) and the third is National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).
Although these policy changes helped the manufacturing and services sector to grow, agriculture did not get any direct benefits from economic reforms. It was assumed that it would get indirect benefits due to changes in exchange and trade policy, liberal industrial licensing system and reduction in industrial protection, which would benefit tradable agriculture by ending discrimination against it and by turning the terms of trade in its favour.
The present study examines the transformation in agriculture and basic contributory roles i. e. product, market, and factor contribution of agriculture in the economy of Uttar Pradesh. Further, a long-run association and causal relation between agriculture and other economic sectors and sub-sectors are explored. An understanding of the relationship between agriculture and overall GDP growth becomes important from a policy maker’s perspective, as it would guide the decisions in allocating the scarce resources to attain growth and development. Results show that Product, market, and factor contribution has increased over the years. Empirical estimates show that agriculture is a driver of the unregistered manufacturing sector, transport storage and communication sector; and the overall economy as a whole. Public investment in irrigation should be accelerated, cost-effective and yield-raising technology should be accessible to medium and small farmers. Micro and small agro-based enterprises should be established according to specific regional crops, so they can work closely with the agriculture sector and reap the benefits of easy availability of raw material.