The State of Agri business in Indiaby Udit Jain on June 15, 2007
The State of Agribusiness
Nature has been very good to India. India has 52 percent of total cultivable land as against 11 percent in the world. All 15 major climates of the world from snow-bound Himalayas to hot humid southern peninsula and the Thar Desert to heavy rain areas exist in India. There are 20 agro-climatic regions and nearly 46 out of 60 soil types in the country. Sunshine hours and day length are ideally suited for round the year cultivation of crops. India is the centre for
biodiversity in plants, animals, insects, micro-organism and accounts for 17 percent animal, 12 percent plants and 10 percent fish genetic resources of the globe.
Using the above comparative advantages, India has been the second highest fruit and vegetable producer in the world, second highest producer of milk with a cold storage capacity of 70,000 tonnes, fifth largest producer of eggs, and the sixth largest producer of fish with harvesting volumes of 5.2 million tonnes. However, the exports from India are poor. Compared to other countries the land productivity in India is low. Even with in the country, there are tremendous variations among the states in terms of farm productivity. There is a tremendous scope for increasing the farm outputs using state of the art pre-harvest technologies and harvesting techniques. Value added agriculture has not yet caught on with-in the Indian scene. Post-harvest technologies are at a nascent stage in India. Pre-cooling, cold chain, packaging and transport using totes or small containers are all absent, resulting in substandard delivery of groceries and enormous amounts of wastage.