Article and Image Courtesy : The Better India
Author : Unnati Narang
Jagriti Agro Tech team continues with their research. They came across some farmers who were practicing organic farming partly but were not sure of switching to it totally. What is needed is to provide technical guidance and to ensure them a market for their produce.
I met Ashmeet Kapoor a year ago, on a one-of-its-kind train journey called the Jagriti Yatra. It was an 18-day long journey of entrepreneurship that took young, bright potential leaders of India across the length and breadth of this nation to discover grassroots enterprises in a whole new way. Back then, who knew that this US returned 26-year old will go on to work in the villages of India. With a Masters in Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship from Brown University, and Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from University of British Columbia, Ashmeet’s educational background culminated into a stronger desire to make life better for India’s rural population. What better way to do this than to start with the heart of our nation – the farmers?
With the support of Jagriti Yatra organising team and a few fellow yatris, he founded Jagriti Agrotech in May 2011 with the vision of making farming profitable for small farmers, and to do so by using enterprise as an agent of change, as opposed to charity. What is the idea behind his initiative? “The precursor to rural development is financial stability; agriculture presents enormous opportunities to achieve that. Jagriti Agro Tech is working towards supplying the best quality organic produce directly to consumers, while ensuring higher profits for small farmers by means of propagating high-output, low-budget organic agriculture techniques and creating direct market linkages. This also enables us to supply affordable organic produce to consumers without the high premiums other organic companies charge,” says Kapoor.
Jagriti Agro Tech recognized that there are many organizations that are tackling bits and pieces of the agriculture crises, but a comprehensive model is yet to be figured out. Their solution is a combination of best practices developed by grassroots organizations and organic farming experts, along with IT tools to make farm monitoring, production and supply chain management efficient. What is the impact? “Using this model, we can create a constant supply of organic vegetables at affordable prices. It enables us to pay the farmers a premium of 25% over mandi prices,” adds Kapoor.
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