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Agripreneurs of MANAGE in Krishi Unnati Mela

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

With a view to showcase latest technologies to the farmers in agriculture and allied sectors. A National Level Agriculture fair-cum-Exhibition `Krishi Unnati Mela (KUM) 2018 organized jointly by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Department of Agriculture Research & Education, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries at Mela Ground of Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi Where in National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) has also set up the stall to show case the 100 Startups by Agripreneurs. The Krishi Jagran Team had interacted Ms Priti S Sonkusare of Om Biofertilizers on their Organic Farming, Biofertilizers and Biopesticides.

Entrepreneurship is all about finding the gaps in input supply and marketing and building business around them. Farmers while cultivating crops can also take up enterprises to substitute their earnings and to get continuous income. It is hearting to see how some young people started enterprises and build upon them successfully. They are not only able to provide employment to others but also built eco-system for other enterprises in the villages. Agriculture sector with 52 percent  population dependent on it and every “human being” being consumer throws lot of opportunities for business. Entrepreneurs also deliver extension services to the farmers. I hope this book motivates rural youth, farmers and all others to think about agriculture and start working in this sector. All this is possible only because of AC & ABC Scheme started by Govt. of India under Dept. of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) in the year 2002 with forethought. As-on-today 53000 youth are trained under this scheme and nearly 23,000 of them started enterprises.

Woman Agripreneur Promoting Industrial Growth in Naxalite Area

Mrs. Preeti Sonkusare (38), is an agricultural economist and a housewife with a vision of being an agripreneur. After marriage, she refused to sit idle at home and decided to do something for her own earnings. Mrs. Preeti started her successful journey by registering herself for the two-month residential training program under AgriClinics and Agri-Business Centres Scheme at KVAAF-Nagpur, Maharashtra. During the program, she learnt Detailed Project Report (DPR) preparation, accounting, marketing etc. She got an opportunity to listen to lectures from many visiting experts from various agricultural supplementary businesses and to visit established agripreneurs engaged in different activities. After successful completion of training, ‘Om Bio-fertilisers’ was established by a combination of Ms. Preeti’s own investment and credit support from her family. She started her own production unit by providing employment to 15 young science graduates. Mrs. Preeti says, “In the beginning, my company manufactured Azotobater, Phosphate Solubilising bacteria, Rhizobium, Azospirillum, Zinc-mobilising bacteria, potassium-mobilizing bacteria etc. which need no introduction. Now production is carried out at under the supervision of a young and energetic team of science graduates. The bio-fertilisers are manufactured in both solid and liquid forms”. The capacity of the manufacturing unit is around 15 MT. The prices of products range from Rs. 150 to Rs. 400 per litre per kg. Mrs. Preeti says, “Gadchiroli is a notorious Naxalite area in Maharashtra state. The major crops of farmers here are sugarcane, paddy, groundnut, pulses, gram and vegetables.” Doorstep consultancy is one of the major agenda of the unit. Mrs. Preeti is also involved developing market linkages of organic growers of the region with the market and super malls. A total of 1200 farmers are engaged in organic farming. More than 200 low-cost pits of vermicomposting have been established on farmers’ fields. Mrs. Preeti has given a new lease of life to the industries sector in the Naxal-hit area. She is happy that she could do something beneficial to farmers that freed them from the clutches of inorganic farming. “Lending a hand in saving the nature is a more than satisfactory feeling”, Mrs. Preeti concludes.

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