India has a tremendous challenge to meet 45 MT of milk production in the coming years due to increase in population and consumption of milk and milk products. What are your offerings to enhance milk productivity?
The urgent need to enhance milk productivity in India is precisely why we entered the Cattle Feed business which offers intelligent feeding solutions for cattle. Whilst breeders are working to enhance the genetic potential of Indian cattle, we are tackling the issue at the other end by offering quality feed which guarantees at least 10 percent increase in milk production. We have brought in technical experts who have formulated our feed products which suit local agro- climatic conditions. We are happy that our brands Milk Plus and Milk Star have received a tremendous response from customers. We also offer specific solution oriented feed under High
What are the big challenges in agro-sector? How do you plan to tackle them?
Land fragmentation, poor/non-existent irrigation and farmer poverty are seemingly endless cycle – and this cannot be stressed enough. This affects agricultural productivity as well as agri-businesses. Poor targeting and pilferage apart, high agricultural subsidies hamper public investment in agricultural infrastructure and research. Capital formation in rural and agricultural is vital and this must be taken head on by private sector investment which again requires government support and incentives. On the human resources front, there is a dearth of good talent at
How many farmers are being benefited from your offerings?
We have directly benefitted over 12,000 people – more than 90 percent of these are farmers and farm households.
In less than eight months of operations, the company has lit up 2,280 houses across 34 villages in UP and has plans to cross 100 villages market by the year end. What all efforts are you taking to achieve the target?
We are doing our best to market our village electrification efforts and offer our services to companies which are looking to channel their CSR funds for rural electrification purpose.
Do you have plans to use solar energy in farming sector as well?
Yes, we do offer solar pumping solutions for farm irrigation and have done a project in Tamil Nadu. Conservative estimates show this project alone saved 11.2 lakh kW of energy to the grid and will lead to savings of about Rs 2 crores over the next five years for the farmers benefitted by the project.
What other solutions do you offer to rural India?
Apart from cattle feed, solar mini-grids and solar pumps, we also offer solar home lighting systems which are affordable and can be bought by individual rural households. We have also brought out myWay LED lighting in Rajasthan – offering affordable yet
Rural Agri Ventures also invest in start-ups in the food and agri-business space. What criteria do you adopt to evaluate these start-ups?
The 3S are key – Scale, Sustainability and Social impact. We’re happy to hear from entrepreneurs who have tested the waters in some sense and achieved ‘Proof of Concept’.
What are your future plans?
This is just the beginning. We’ll be scaling up our businesses on a pan-India level over the next few years. There is so much value to create that the upside is enormous in these sunrise sectors. A farm tech related business is also in the offing. We’re looking forward to playing a game- changing role both in rural and agricultural sectors which are critical to a progressive and peaceful India.