“The Complex problems faced by farmers made me look for simple and sustainable solutions. Agritech I strongly believe is the way to go. The book offers high impact solutions and an implementation path based on my grassroots work, which can be adopted rapidly. I hope my efforts succeed in convincing all stakeholders including the farmers, policy makers, agribusinesses ad students.”Sujit Sahgal, Author
In his book on Agritech and the Future of Farming – the author defines Agritech in a very broad way to include best practices, modern methods, new business models and technology. He takes a clear view that even a small or marginal farmer can benefit from these and improve his earnings materially on a sustained basis.
While technology itself includes all the data, software, hardware and machines like drones, sensors, cameras, automation and robotics, best practices could be just things like soil testing and good crop choice. Modern methods could include techniques like using better seeds, raised bed farming or mulching. New business models encompass selling on e-NAM, coming together through FPOs and being open to leasing in land to get benefits of economies of scale.
Sujit Sahgal also brings the issues of demographic change and hence the pressing need to attract or retain the rural youth in farming centrestage in his book. He picks two key issues among the several reasons why the youth does not want to stay on the farm. He feels that improving the amount and predictability of returns from farming and reducing the physical effort is one critical change needed. The second is the social acceptance of farming. He argues that both these issues can be well addressed by adopting agritech.
“I was clear about two things — the book had to appeal to the wider public and be primary research driven. It had to be a ground up view coming from the farmer himself. Hence the idea was to visit farmers, gauge how much he already knows, how able and willing he is to adopt new methods and technologies. What does he need? At what price point? One could then understand the low hanging fruit and suggest a path to achieve rapid adoption of high impact benefits” says the author.
To immerse the reader in his thought process, Sujit starts every chapter with a real-life story of a farmer or related person he met. In fact some chapters have more than one and the appendix of the book contains several more such ground up stories. Overall, there are about 30 plus real-life stories of farmers from across the country with different sizes of farms and levels of prosperity and income. This brings to life the points the author makes and takes the reader on a virtual tour with across the heartlands and farmlands of India.
The author has tried to use all the bottom up and top down research to arrive at areas that the government and agribusinesses should focus on. Areas where the farmer struggles the most and can see quick and high impact. Education, Information and Advisory is one such area. Help in offtake solutions is another. Crop selection and multi-cropping is a third.
“I believe farmers, agribusinesses, academia, students and the government and its advisors should focus on these areas first and broadcast aggressively success stories to create a positive spiral for ensuring a quick large-scale adoption which will ensure a SOLID future for the Indian farmer” feels the author.
The book’s theme is a specialized one within agriculture, but Sujit’s attempt is unpretentious and very realistic. He has attempted to analyse the problem, delineate the solutions and present the view not from the armchair but from the ground, from the fields of India—Kashmir to Kerala, Gandhidham to the Dibang Valley. The stories that he weaves are what make this book relevant and different. Rich as it is with data and facts, the pages come alive because they speak directly from the village of Theog in Himachal, ‘on a chilly December afternoon’, or from Dehradun, highlighting the menace of monkeys wreaking havoc on the crop of lemons, rice and pulses. – Dinesh Kumar Khara, Chairman, State Bank of India.
About Sujit Sahgal
Sujit is a financial markets professional with 27+ years of experience in the investment banking industry and author of the book, “A Wall Street View of Rural India: A Banker’s Diary of a Decade of Road Trips.” Apart from his interests in the financial markets and rural India, he is a travel and trekking enthusiast. He is a serious poet of Urdu and writes under the pen name Haasil. Join the conversation with Sujit on LinkedIn.
The future of farming is here.
Countries all over the world are racing to revolutionize farming. Indian agricultural sector, however, is facing several challenges and needs a makeover. India should adopt agritech to make farming lucrative on a sustained basis and liberate its farmers.
Based on the author’s grassroot level discussions with thousands of farmers, entrepreneurs and policymakers, and a deep study of global trends, Agribusiness and Technology deliberates on the future of farming in India. It takes into consideration the farmers’ views and pain points, and pitches modern methods, best practices, effective business models and the use of technology as the best solution to make farming more lucrative, even for the small farmer. It provides a pathway for an early and impactful adoption of the various solutions.
The book will speak to all―social entrepreneurs, venture capital investors, farmers, policymakers and students invested in the Indian agricultural sector and agribusiness.
- Title: Agribusiness and Technology: Revolutionizing the Future of Farming
- Author: Sujit Sahgal
- Publisher: SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
- Publication Date: 21 December 2021
- Price: INR 455 (Paperback) and INR 318 (Kindle)
- Category: Agriculture and Farming
- ISBN-13: 978-9354791901
- Country of Origin: India
- 14.27 x 1.68 x 22.23 cm; 340 gm; English
Available for purchase at Amazon and SagePublishing.
Sujit is amongst a rare breed of analytical writers with an unparalleled command of three critical components―the food chain, agricultural technology and economics. The book is an easy-to-read narrative with anecdotes and international best practices combined with a deep dive into the psyche of rural India and a farm-to-fork agritech strategy. Undisputedly, India is on the cusp of an agricultural revolution, so this is a compelling read for anyone interested in the future of India.Deepak Parekh ― Chairman, Housing Development Finance Corporation, India
A Wall Street View of Rural India established Sujit Sahgal as a researcher with his eye on the hoi polloi. The two newbies of 21st century agriculture―youth and agritech, introduced in this book’s last section―find robust wings in the author’s succeeding book, Agribusiness and Technology. The role of these two actors in reshaping agriculture as an agribusiness is well substantiated. The well-tested ‘Sahgal methodology’ of integrating secondary with primary data helps in generating a froth of ground-truth insights. A must-read for all those aspiring to understand new India’s future of farming, assuring you that you will love to read it for its ease and lucidity.Dr Ashok Dalwai ― CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority, and Chairman, Empowered Body, Doubling Farmers’ Income, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India
While the problems facing Indian agriculture are well documented and understood, Sujit Sahgal brings a refreshing ‘onthe-ground and on-the-farm’ perspective to them by going to the grassroots and taking inputs from farmers across the country to understand what will work for them and what will not. This approach makes this book differentiated as it touches upon a very large number of issues, from global experiences to the local landscape, and brings out new and actionable ideas on the use of agritech and best practices for farmers. Its storylike approach also ensures that it will find resonance with stakeholders, including farmers, agribusinesses, academia and policymakers. It is indeed good to see non-agricultural professionals taking a keen interest in this subject.Suresh Narayanan ― Chairman and Managing Director, Nestle India
Technology is now all pervasive, and it is only a matter of time before it becomes an integral part of India’s farming, even in those areas of agriculture in which there is not enough use of technology at present. Mr Sujit Sahgal’s book is relevant to the future of Indian agriculture as it examines the pathways to the options available to make it viable for small farmers also. Anyone interested in the future of Indian agriculture will find this book interesting and relevant.Siraj Hussain ― Visiting Senior Fellow, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations; Former Chairman of Food Corporation of India; Former Chief Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India
The issue of small farmers’ livelihoods in India is challenging both in policy and practice. This concise and empirical book examines the appropriate role of technology in enabling India’s small farmers to earn a decent livelihood. Sujit is convincing in his argument that farm size is not an issue in the viability of farming. The book dwells on major issues ranging from land leasing to extension, sustainability, producer organization and inclusion. Sujit’s style of weaving concepts and frameworks with short and relevant field-based stories makes the book very engaging for anyone keen on gaining a grounded understanding of globalized Indian agriculture.Sukhpal Singh ― Professor and Chairperson, Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
Sujit Sahgal’s new book is a wonderful overview of the challenges facing farmers in India and how technology adoption can help transform Indian agriculture and food systems. Omnivore helped pioneer agritech investing in India over the past decade, and we are thrilled to see Sujit’s insights regarding the potential of this sector. If you care about India’s 13 crore farmers, read this book!Mark Kahn ― Managing Partner, Omnivore
It’s rare to find an investment banker possessing a granular understanding of agriculture and also a passion for the sector. Sujit Sahgal has both. Agribusiness and Technology offers a grounded view of the challenges facing Indian agriculture―how to produce more with less input as well as environmental costs amid rising weather uncertainty. It also shows how new digital agriculture technologies can provide solutions by reducing drudgery and attracting our rural youth to stay back and scale up their family farm businesses.Harish Damodaran ― National Rural Affairs and Agriculture Editor, The Indian Express; Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
The Indian farm sector desperately needs support – policy, research and investment. To leverage natural endowments and to strengthen India’s long-term food and nutrition security, infusion of multiple technologies end-to-end in the farm sector is critical. In his latest book author Sujit Sahgal brings a refreshing insight into how technology can revolutionize agribusiness and deliver benefits to stakeholders.G. Chandrashekhar – Senior Editor, Policy Commentator and Agribusiness Specialist