The three main challenges of the Indian farmer

What are the three main challenges for you as a farmer in India?

I’m asking you this question, hoping that you are willing to share your views and experiences. As an employee at the Danish farm, Ausumgaard, I am currently working on our newest project, FoodKRAFT. Our vision is to become the Udemy of agriculture by educating and inspiring people to become farmers. But most importantly, we need to help solve real world challenges.

In our case, we are constantly working to capture a large enough share of our products’ total value. We have succeeded in setting up a specialized crop production (for seeding and rape seed oil) with margins. However, we have also failed at establishing an organic production of vegetables for home delivery.

In a world that needs to feed another 2bn million, we constantly have become better at what we are doing as farmers, no matter if we are located in Denmark, India or elsewhere on the globe. By sharing our challenges, across national and professional borders, I believe we are one step closer to actually solving them and making agriculture prosper.

Cheers,
Mikkel

Hi Mikkel

As an Orchard farmer my views are from issues I am facing in farming - Mango, Guava and Coconut

  1. Availability of reliable and quality planting materials - the unfortunate part in Orchards is we see the results after 3-4 years by then a lot of inputs - time, money and effort has gone in and the yields do not match the inputs and farmer suffers

  2. Consistent pricing - supply and seasonality affects pricing and so farmers income varies widely

  3. Economics of getting the produce to the market is high and necessitates middle men so there is big differential between farm gate rice and what actual customers pay.

These would be my top 3 issues

Xisfan

Dear Sri/Mr Mikkel,

We felt so happy on hearing your/your organisations, objectives on farmers and farming community.

We, farmers mostly wanted daily information on crop wise details like requirement, production day wise/week wise/month wise.
We , farmers also wants a reliable, valuable information , by Governments and/or Reliable NGO’s, like the daily updated prices, both prevailing and expected etc.

The above information is required both for domestic and for other places, place wise, if possible.

If this much timely information is fed to the farming community , we hope that farming will become trust worthy, profitable and Indian farmers can do worth Agri/Horti produces.

The uncertinity of sale price is the main hurdle in farming. Except for Agri/Horti produces, all others are having saleable prices and they will fix
Their prices. Unfortunately, we the farming community have full details about expenditure for producing the crop, but do not know the realising price. It became gambling.

We don’t know, whether this situation is only in specific countries or through out the world.

With best wishes,    g.p.rao,    farmer

Thank you Xisfan for your input. Very interesting with some insights into orchard farming as I have no idea of how it works. We do grow fruit in DK (mostly apples, strawberries etc.), but most farmers rely on growing grains.

You have described the challenges in a very precise and short manner. And they lead me to asking additional questions to deepen my knowledge of Indian agriculture. How do you try to overcome the three challenges?  And in your view, what arae the most important skills to do so?

Dear g.p.rao,

thank you for your encouragements. Although farming issues are always country-/region-specific, I believe some challenges apply across borders. And if we share our challenges, and possible solutions to them, we can continuously improve our farming and thus livelihoods.

You mention information on crops, information on prices and the uncertainty of sales price. How do you try to overcome these challenges? And where does a farmer have to have his strong sides?

Dear Mr Mikkel ,

Now , mostly I am growing newly introduced flower varieties, newly introduced vegetables, which have good market acceptance , on thorough market study. Comparatively competition will be less, due to lesser plantations.

Individual market study is little more expensive and some times we may be wrongly influenced.

Production problems will be more to face , when doing new varieties. Some times we may loose more moneys.

Hope our Governments may take a deep wise step to give positive guide lines to farming community of India. Is there any good and practical system of agriculture in other countries, up to your knowledge and it will be well received.

With best wishes,    g.p.rao,    farmer

Mr.Mikkel.

Hello Sir,

Kindly let me share some words here from my opinion title ’ Healthy Farming  -  Thoughts and Experiences’.

        The pricing of a produce is determined by the wholesale buyer or exporter, which is hard reality.

To overcome this, the grass-root level farmer must transform into a daily seller and/or value-add atleast one of his produce to create a market for himself.

For example, a farmer may sell vegetables along with ready to consume plantain pith soup, to realise some decent daily returns.This first step is very crucial for the low level farmer to enter a positive growth phase.

Another reality is the effect of the presence of passionate farmers on regular farmers.

For example, there is a case of a passionate farmer growing  vegetables with good quality but the nearby organic store refusing to buy the produce or accepting it at throw away prices.This type of procurement affects regular farmers more than passionate farmers.

A passionate farmer is much informed, well connected and able to use computers to search for any particular data. So,
every passionate farmer must strive to become a regular farmer to form a community of available  farmers within a particular location, to share knowledge, value add and/or market their produce together.

The regular farmers who already have low-scale export orders must strive hard on quality because if an import of a produce is banned by a foreign country for quality terms, it affects all the farmers nationwide growing the same produce.

Top quality of produce will bring more consumers and create more export demand.
So the focus must be on quality rather than quantity.

Personally, it took me two months of marketing to realise a single order for organic vegetables. Now, I like to transform myself into a regular farmer.

Regards,

J.Bhaskar.

Dear g.p.rao,
thank you once again for taking your time to reply. I believe there are already many good and practical systems out there. This is the exact reason, why we want to launch FoodKRAFT. If we can match the right information on agriculture with the right needs of farmers, we can grow the food, the world is screaming for and farmers can sustain a good standard of living. FoodKRAFT is all about spreading the word of best practice.

I know a guy who promotes the Farming God’s Way system in Uganda and Togo. He was educated as a farmer in Denmark, and his programme is very successful in the aforementioned countries. He has now helped more than a 1,000 people to achieve adequate yields for subsistence. Take a look:http://www.farming-gods-way.org/. I think the system as such applies to many places, but of course, it depends on you level of mechanization and crops.

You mention that you have introduced new flower varieties and performed a market study. Where do you inform yourself of how to do these things?

Dear Sir,

thank you for your educational input. I feel your passion radiating through my screen.

It’s very interesting how you differentiate between a passionate farmer and a regular farmer. You mention that you are now looking to transform yourself into a regular farmer., from being a passionate farmer Could you elaborate on the difference in skill sets and why it is important for you to turn yourself into a regular farmer?

In your reply, I see both challenges and solutions to those challenges. If you are faced with a challenge, to which you do not already know the solution, where do you go to get the knowledge needed to come up with a solution?

Thank you Sir for your reply.

My email address is

bhaskarj777777  at the rate of gmail dot com.

Regards,
J.Bhaskar.

Thank you Sir for your reply.

With reference to your earlier questions,

I kindly welcome you to view my fully updated opinion titled,

‘Healthy Farming - Thoughts and Experiences’.

Thanks and Regards,
J.Bhaskar.

For providing term loan for a farm infrastructure the nationalised banks are asking for urban commercial collateral twice the value of term loan.  Farm land, infrastructure, current and projected income are not considered
AgriFin Minister Petition.docx (12.2 KB)

Dear J. Bhaskar,

thank you for referring me to your thread. You have also provided me with your e-mail address. Would you prefer to continue our conversation via e-mail?

Best regards,
Mikkel

Thank you, Reddypanadi for your reply to my question.

If I understand you correctly, you see lending as a challenge? And that it is a challenge, because the banks do not consider farm land, infrastructure, current and projected income? Please correct me, if I am wrong.

Do you see any other challenges for you as a farmer in India?