MFOI 2024 Road Show


Technology Can Transform Indian Agriculture: Dr. Malini Saba

Dr. Malini Saba

A successful businesswoman and philanthropist, Dr. Malini Saba has been at the forefront of women’s rights and positively impacting the lives of low income and at-risk women and children worldwide. Growing up in South East Asia, her biggest interest was in the empowerment of women struggling for human rights, health and economic stability. Dr. Saba runs a nonprofit organization, SABA Family Foundations. As the Chairman of ‘SFF’ she started multiple initiatives on changing the way women in poverty viewed themselves and their role in society. Saba Family Foundation was involved in several critical projects over a period of few years. Krishi Jagran interacted with Dr Saba, Founder & Chairman, Saba Industries &Saba Family Foundations.

What are the major working areas, product range & focus of Saba Industries?

Saba Industries has an affinity towards the agriculture and trades in the business of rice and natural resources, exporting 9, 00,000 tons of rice worldwide. The Group is a manufacturer and distributor of Basmati 1121, White rice, Jasmine and fragrant rice throughout the regions of Southeast Asia, parts of Africa and the Middle East. Saba Industries has a strong foothold in palm land in Malaysia and Indonesia. Oil is utilized for preparing cooking oil, soap and other consumer items.

The agriculture arm of the group enthusiastically employs internationally approved environmental guidelines in all their ventures for a principled growth.

Saba Industries is a lucrative and sustaining group of companies and organizations, Moreover, the multifaceted nature of this group of industries helps their respective sectors at the ground-level by employing almost 3,750 local workers as well as acts as a funding agency for the endeavors undertaken by Saba Family Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to help at least one billion people around the world to gain access to basic healthcare, provide education and opportunities that allow them to break the cycle of poverty, and eradicate illiteracy about human right issues.

What is  Your Agriculture Business Model?

Agriculture is a very important sector as far as the food is concerned. This sector is very much dependent on Mother Nature, but it is that era where we can master the skills and perform well. As per our model, we work with the farmers and the distributors. We strongly believe that it is very important

to empower the farmers we work with because they are the ones, who feed the world. We provide infrastructure and technology to the farmers to enable them to increase their production. The less time they spend on the field harvesting, the quicker they can sell their product; and therefore, they can reinvest their time and money in the next crop. This also helps to improve crop production as well as crop yield

What are the Impacts of Globalization on Indian farmer?

Indian Society is drastically changing after globalization has brought a lot of changes in the Indian culture. Economic policies have a direct impact in shaping the structural framework of economy. Economic policies formulated and executed by the government, have also played an important role in determination of levels of income, savings, investments and employment in the society. It will be a mistake to assume that India can evaluate an effective mechanism for economic reforms and it will be difficult for India to adopt with global changes without dealing with domestic problems like control of terrorism, providing employment to rural educated people, and work for the rural poor, empowering women and marginalized people and providing reasonable price and market facilities for the farmers. Global changes are operating on many new areas of conflict and cooperation for India and we can achieve a new level of integration of Indian economy with world markets on the basis of protection of our own national interest.

How Do You  Suggest Indian Farmers to cope up with International Market?

India has made immense progress towards achieving food security. Its population has tripled, but food-grain production has more than quadrupled; there has thus been a substantial increase in available food-grain per capital.

The public-private partnership model could be just the game-changer of the India’s agricultural sector needs. By drawing on the collective power of all agricultural stakeholders, PPPs can transform the sector by Investing in smarter value chains, improving access to credit, technology and markets, Building farmer resilience to environmental shocks etc.

Where Indian Agriculture is Lacking on Global Standard & How to Address the Same?

Agriculture has been the backbone of human existence since time immemorial. It has also seen much advancement over the years. However, the agricultural practices carried out in India are still largely traditional. Indian agriculture technology have many limitations as compared to modern agricultural technologies around the world. Farmers are here the sole risk bearers of all the challenges that arise in the farming cycle. Be it lack of quality tools, erratic monsoons or pest outbreaks, farmers have to face it all without any risk mitigation among other stakeholders.

We live in a world where technology is at the heart of our everyday lives. Similar to the transformations in other sectors, I believe technology is sure to shape farming practices. Technology can transform Indian agriculture by addressing challenges related to quality, quantity, distribution and storage.

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