Promotion of secondary agriculture
Secondary agriculture assumes importance as India look to achieve the goal of doubling farmer’s income. There is no formal definition of secondary agriculture, however its essence can be understood when the Ashok Dalwai committee submitted report on value addition to primary agriculture and build agriculture enterprises in rural India via from linked activities & secondary agriculture. The committee defined secondary agriculture as a production activity and devised a strategy which includes sustainability of production, monetisation of farmer’s produce, straightening of extension service and recognising agriculture as an enterprise.
Secondary agriculture can help drive growth of primary agriculture and the three areas have been identified to help use capital, Human Resources, organisational capabilities, technology and risk management :
Type A : value addition to primary agriculture production system
Type B : enterprise linked to rural off-farm activities
Type C : enterprises thriving on crop residues of primary agriculture
Type A can be achieved by improving livelihood improvement action plans. Linking farmers with market via grading of agricultural produce can help in value enhancement. Cluster farming, financial literacy and marketing skills are important in this case.
Type B is associated with rural off-farm activities, for example, poultry, bee keeping and live stock management. These activities can be promoted as a part of the integrated farming system.
Type C strive on crop resides or by-products of primary agriculture. Take for example, sugar from cane, the cane can be used for molasses production.
To promote agricultural entrepreneurship there is a need to provide priority status to the sector, availability of low credit and provision of rural electrification. Agribusiness incubation can help benefit farm communities and provide market linkages to improve farmer’s realisations.