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Technology will be the foundation of rural growth

Prof C K Sabharwal MD Crop Health Products shares his vision on Indian rural markets and how it will evolve further

Prof C K Sabharwal
Managing Director, Crop Health Products
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Are you satisfied with the way rural India has grown in the past decade? How will it evolve further?
Rural India has come a long way, from being an agrarian economy , whose success is dependent upon erratic monsoons, to increasingly tied to the national economic cycle. Demographics have continued to change rapidly thriving in the diversity of the country. The consumers are ready to experiment and embark on a journey to improve their quality of life.

Literacy levels have gone up; formal education has spread its wing wide, especially among girls and women and vocational training has penetrated rural youth. This has led to higher and more lucrative opportunities for rural population.

Besides, rural development initiatives from Government such as MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) are game changers for minimum wage reach to the sub served.

Over 600 million population by 2025 will be between the ages of 5 and 30 years, a rich platform to reap dividends from. These 500 small towns are seething with energy, giving a platform to marketers, to satisfy the changing consumer behaviour and aspirations.

How would the new Government policies be affecting it?
The new Government will be focused on creating quality infrastructure and simplifying schemes that reach its targeted audience. PM has already taken steps to have a banking account with every household, a favourable policy towards agricultural and bio technology, setting up manufacturing units, rationalising minimum reserve prices for cash crops and giving impetus to micro finance and financial inclusion through PPP. Policy framework that encourages education, training, sanitation, healthcare and skill building, will greatly help this sector to move on a fast track.

How technology can help push the sector to a faster growth?
The driver of rural economic growth in agriculture is technology. Mobile revolution and internet connectivity are results of technology. Farm machinery, crop protection chemicals, housing and building materials, medical equipment, education, banking and services, are all based on modern technological advances and adoption in India. Multinational partnerships with Indian companies are spearheading this initiative. Indeed technology will be the foundation of rural growth.

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