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Press Information Bureau <br />Government of India<br />Vice President&#39;s Secretariat<br /><span style='float:right;font-size:80%;font-weight:lighter'>14 DEC 2019 5:08PM by PIB Delhi</span>
Need to make rural enterprises an attractive career choice for youth- Vice President

The Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today expressed the need to make rural enterprises an attractive career choice for both urban and rural youth in India. He also called for a sensitization programme to inform the youth about the opportunitiesavailable in rural India.

Addressing the 40th Foundation Day function of the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) today, he appealed to the students and teachers of the Institute to sensitize at least 10 youngsters in schools/colleges in their network and encourage them to explore possibilities in rural India. He termed this task as PSR (Personal Social Responsibility) for them.

Calling Gujarat as the ‘janmabhoomi’ and ‘karma bhoomi’ of greatleaders such as Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi, the Vice President called for making their vision of Gram Swaraj into a reality.

Institutions like IRMA have a unique role to play in this, he said.

Maintaining that India is on track to become a 5 trillion dollar economy, Shri Naidu opined that rural India’s economy will play an important role in this.

Therefore, massive transformation of rural economy is required by way of promoting rural entrepreneurship, Farmer Producer Companies (FPC)andthrough improvements insupply chain efficiency.

To enable this, he called for providing proper training and mentoring to turn villagers and farmers into successful entrepreneurs and innovators.

Reaffirming Gandhiji’s vision of decentralized village level industries, he called for a renewed focus on agriculture and value addition to agri-products.

Citing the example of foreign brands selling tomato sauce and potato chips, the Vice President called for establishing agro processing industries at village level so that farmers get the right value of their produce.

Remembering Dr. VergheseKurienas a great institution builder, Shri Naiducalled for replication of Amul success story in other fields also, so that small and marginal farmers can reap the benefits of economies of scale in marketing.

The ‘White Revolution’ was achieved not bymass production’ butproduction by masses’, he said.

Shri Naidu highlighted that new technologies and programs such as ‘Digital India’ have opened up new business avenues in rural India by way of Digital Payments, e- commerce etc and have created a favourable ecosystem for rural digital transformation.

In this context, he called upon IRMA to create atleast 1,000 start-ups in the rural areas over next two years. “BecauseIRMA professionals are uniquely positioned to be able to appreciate the realities of rural India and impart professional business management skills appropriate to the rural context”, he said.

The Vice President said that there are great opportunities in the consumer space for traditional foods, crafts, eco-tourism in rural India. He called for better use of technology to realize this potential.

This unique coming together of the three legs of the economy- farm (agriculture production), manufacturing (primary food processing) & services (distribution, delivery)- can itself be a huge opportunity for the growth of the national economy, he said highlighting it’s great socio- economic benefits for the nation.

Appreciating the women’s role in India’s White Revolution, he saidthatover 90% of the contribution to the rural dairy economy comes from women butthe overall contribution of women to the national GDP is much less at around 25%. “We need to recognize the immense possibilities for women empowerment offered by rural organizations and supply chains. The dairy cooperative movement has amply demonstrated this.” He said.

Shri Naidu also emphasized the need to conserve water to address the problem of water scarcity. He advocated 3Rs – Recycle, Reduce, Reuse – for effective water management and called for making water conservation a people’s movement.

Maintaining that over per cent of India’s population lives in its 6.4 lakh villages, Shri Naidu appreciated several initiatives taken by the government for betterment of rural lives such as – renewed focus on Pradhan Mantri Gram SadakYojana, near universal electrification under Saubhagya scheme, distribution of more than 8 crore LPG connections under Ujjawala scheme and commitment to provide every household with piped water supply (HarGharJal).

Prior to the event, Shri Naidu visited National Dairy Development Board’s campus and was briefed on Amul’s remarkable journey and various initiatives by NDDB such as – training conducted for farmers, initiatives on scientific animal nutrition, breed improvement and activities undertaken under the National Dairy Plan.

Shri Naidu also released a coffee table book on the 40 Years of IRMA.

Shri BhupendrasinhChudasama, Education Minister of Gujarat, Shri MiteshRameshbhai Patel, MP (LokSabha), Shri LalsinhVadodia, MP (RajyaSabha), Shri DilipRath, Chairman, IRMA, Prof. Hitesh V. Bhatt, Director, IRMA, Shri KantibhaiChavda were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

Following is full text of the speech –

“Dear Sisters and brothers,

I am very happy to be here among all of you on the 40th Foundation Day of IRMA.

I am happy to be in this great land that has been the ‘janmabhoomi’ and ‘karma bhoomi’ of many great men and women who shaped India’s destiny.

Not far from here is the birthplace of SardarVallabhbhai Patel – the Iron man of India who successfully and peacefully merged the Princely states into the Indian Union. Our Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated this year was born here in 1869.

I pay my respects to these visionary leaders who have left behind a legacy we are all proud of.

Sisters and brothers,

Development of our villages was a subject very dear to the heart of Mahatma Gandhi who used to say that – “India's soul lives in villages.”

He had also said – “If the village perishes, India will perish too.”

SardarVallabhbhai Patel who himself was the son of a farmer, led peasants’ movements in Kheda and Bardoli. Farmers’ welfare was close to his heart as well.

I appreciate that IRMA, since its inception in 1979 has been working tirelessly to build an India that Sardar Patel and Mahatma Gandhi had dreamt of.

Dear sisters and brothers,

This institution is a testimony to the leadership and farsightedness of Dr. VergheseKurien who was a great institution builder.

Just before coming here, I have visited the NDDB campus. It is indeed a beautiful place with an inspiring story.

It was here that the ‘White Revolution’ was conceptualized and implemented. Thanks to the untiring efforts of Dr. Kurien and his team including the dairy farmers, India is currently the world’s largest producer of milk. The per capita milk availability in India has gone up from 120 gram per day in 1960 to 375 gram per day in 2018. This increase is despite our population rising by three times during the period.

Dear sisters and brothers,

When we talk of rural development, several things come to our mind such as rural roads, adequate electricity supply, availability of clean drinking water, sanitation etc.

I am happy to note that the Government under the leadership of Shri NarendraModi is taking active steps to address these issues in the true spirit of ‘sabkasaath, sabkavikas’.

During last five years, nearly two lakh kilometers of new roads have been built across rural India under PradhanMantri Gram SadakYojana.

Now the government has decided to launch the 3rd Phase of this scheme. It involves upgradation of one lakh twenty five thousand kilometres of rural roads in the coming five years. In this phase focus will be onthose roads that connect habitations with agricultural markets, schools and hospitals.

India has achieved landmarks in energy accesswith every willing rural household provided with an electricity connection under Saubhagya scheme. Only few households are left in four naxal affected districts.

More than 8 crore LPG connections have been released under Ujjawala scheme. This has brought the much needed relief to the rural women who had to spend hours every day in collecting fuel wood. 

Similarly, the Government is committed to provide HarGharJal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024 under the JalJeevan Mission. A new Jal Shakti Mantralaya, has been constituted for integrated and holistic water management.

Sisters and brothers,

Gandhiji was a staunch supporter of traditional crafts and agro processing industries at village level.

In line with these Gandhian principals, the Government is implementing SFURTI scheme which promotes clusters of traditional industries with a focus on Bamboo, Honey and Khadi.100 such new clusters will be set up during 2019-20 enabling 50,000 artisans to join the economic value chain.

This year’s Budget also provides for setting up of 80 Livelihood Business Incubators and 20 Technology Business incubators under ASPIRE scheme in 2019-20to develop 75,000 skilled entrepreneurs in agro-rural industry sectors.

It is here, the role of institutes such as IRMA becomes important. Proper training and mentoring is a prerequisite to turn village- farmers into successful entrepreneurs and innovators.

 

We already have a big success story in Amul. The ‘White Revolution’ was achieved not by ‘mass production’ but ‘production by masses’. This helped small and marginal farmers to reap the benefit of economies of scale in marketing.

 

If the Gandhian dream of decentralized village industries is to materialize, we’ll need sufficient number of well-equipped professionals to manage such industries and institutions.

I am happy that over the last forty years, IRMA has been producing world class professionals who helped create & run numerous rural institutions through the dairy cooperative model.

Dear sisters and brothers,

There is great optimism about the New India within and outside the country.

India is on the track to become a 5 Trillion Dollar economy and contribution of rural India will be vital to achieve this target.

Farmers still constitute over 50 % of the Indian working population, but despite their hard work, agriculture’s share in national GDP is only 15 %.

Our Prime Minister has given a call to double the farmers’ income by the year 2022. If this has to be achieved, we need to adopt a multi-pronged approach.  There has to be a renewed focus on agro-industries, cold storage, warehousing, food processing, dairy, poultry, fisheries and other non farm avenues for generating income.

IRMA can play a big role in this massive transformation required in rural economy. There are numerous possibilities in this direction through supply chain efficiency improvements.

Replicating the dairy success story in a number of other value chains will present great opportunities for the nation.

The role of technology and innovative business models is also worth considering.

With the rise in numbers of smart phones in rural areas, and sustained push to towards a ‘Digital India’, farmers will have greater access to information relating to markets, prices etc.

These technologies have also already opened up new business avenues in rural India by way of Digital Payments, e- commerce etc.

Even look at the way how Dr. Kurien and his team had come out with the unique process for deriving milk powder from buffalo milk. This was the beginning of a successful revolution.

A similar revolution can be achieved if there can be a confluence of technology, supply chains, commerce and financing. This is going to revolutionise the way farmers earn their livelihood and deal with the markets and various stakeholders.

Dear sisters and brothers,

In order to deftly manage this unique and new reality of rural production and supply chain, we’ll require quality of professionals- which institutions like IRMA can provide.

The role of entrepreneurship is also worth noting in this context. The overall support ecosystem and social ecosystem are much more favourable today than ever before for Start-Ups.

Today there are over 1,000 start ups in India in the food, agriculture and rural space. I urge you to plan for tapping into this potential. In the next couple of years, IRMA could create atleast 1,000 start-ups in the rural areas. It is only you who are uniquely positioned to be able to appreciate the realities of rural India and impart professional business management skills appropriate to the rural context.

There are great opportunities in the consumer space for foods, crafts, furniture, toys etc. coming from rural India. Re- discovering the benefits and niceties of traditional wisdom, we can not only preserve the tradition but transit it to a wider clientele. Consumers are increasingly wanting to engage with the producers, to understand the story behind the product and to contribute their small bit to nation building.

Imagine for instance a scenario where there are lakhs of micro rural enterprises and FPC (Farmer Producer Companies) producing a variety of food products through traditional recipes and on the other hand, there are lakhs of consumers looking at a fulfillment platform to service their needs for such products.

This unique coming together of the three legs of the economy-  farm (agriculture production), manufacturing (primary food processing) & services (distribution, delivery)- can itself be a huge opportunity for the growth of the national economy on the one hand and a great mobiliser of socio- economic development of rural India at the same time.

Sisters and brothers,

To make India’s growth story inclusive, we need to address the regional disparities in development.

We need to focus on certain areas that are still way behind on many parameters of development but offer numerous possibilities based on ethnic food, arts and crafts, eco-tourism. These strengths need to be identified and leveraged through a blend of digital technologies, e- commerce and innovative business models.

Also, on another note, we need to appreciate the fact that over 90% of the contribution to the rural dairy economy comes from women.But the overall contribution of women to the national GDP is much less at around 25%.

We need to recognize the immense possibilities for women empowerment offered by rural organizations and supply chains. The dairy cooperative movement has amply demonstrated this.

It is also important to make rural enterprises an attractive career choice for both urban and rural youth in India.  A sensitization programme to inform the youth about these opportunities is the need of the hour.

IRMA can go a little beyond it’s current mandate to kindle this enthusiasm and creativity amongst the youth of the country.

As students and teachers of this great institution, I also appeal to each one of you to take this up as a task for yourself- as some kind of PSR (Personal Social Responsibility) – as against CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)- to sensitize atleast 10 youngsters in school in your network- to encourage younger generation to understand the realities and explore the possibilities in rural India.

To conclude, let me compliment IRMA on completing 40 years of purposeful service to the rural population of our country.  I applaud the efforts being made by the Chairman and his team of professionals who are positioning this premier institution as the front ranking, forward looking institute.

You have an excellent track record. You have a great challenge ahead.

You have a unique opportunity of translating Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of gram swaraj into a reality and positively impact India’s 6.4 lakh villages and its 68.8 percent rural population.

Once again I wish all of you the very best in your noble endeavour.

Jai Hind!”

*****

VRRK/MS/MSY/RK