The Use of Agricultural Products in Business

With its varied allied sectors, agriculture is undeniably the largest source of revenue for millions across the length and breadth of India. Contributing a momentous figure to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation, sustainable agriculture that offers rural occupation and environmentally sustainable expertise, agriculture is essential for a comprehensive development of a nation. Did you know that over the years the Indian agriculture sector has witnessed a green revolution, a white revolution, a yellow revolution and a blue revolution? Here’s how each era is defined:

Green Revolution: The period when agriculture in India increased its yields due to improved agronomic technology.

White Revolution: Operation Flood, the world’s largest agricultural development program by Verghese Kurien

Yellow Revolution: The growth, development and adoption of new varieties of oilseeds and complementary technologies.

Blue Revolution: Management of water resources that steered humanity to achieve drinking water and crop irrigation security.

Agriculture, India’s principal private-sector enterprise engages over 119 million farmers and an additional 144 million landless laborers. In India according to the saying, “Uttam kheti, Madhyam vyapar, Kanishtha naukri” agriculture is even deemed to be the most reputable industry. The above saying implies – supreme is farming, business is medium and servitude is the least desirable.

Agriculture as a business: Is it OR Is it not?

Firstly, cultivation is the only kind of business around the world which has both production and is accompanied by variable cost risks. Here are some examples why we made the above statement. A businessman who makes steel might bump into problems like worker & transporters strikes, instability in prices, variation of raw material, natural calamities etc. Yet these disturbances are incidents that happen once in a blue moon.

Conversely for a farmer, production hazards are almost an everyday occurrence. There may be no rains during the sowing season or for the duration of germination and growth periods. Furthermore pest attacks, hailstorms during crop maturity and enormously fluctuating price crashes can wreak havoc to the lives of farmers. These factors are the ones that make both production and price risks commercially unviable for farmers.

Secondly, agriculture is the lone kind of industry wherein you purchase everything retail and sell everything wholesale. If you are an e-commerce giant, you buy wholesale, but sell retail. Farmers are the only bunch who pay in retail for everything, no matter what the product is… from tractors to small machinery and seeds. But, they are obligated to trade their produce at wholesale prices.

The best way to get around this prejudice is to have farmer-producer cooperatives that will obtain all the requirements for the farmers… seeds, agricultural products, fertilizers etc from producers in bulk and make them obtainable by farmers at indiscriminate rates. However, the sad reality is that in a country like India where the middleman plays a huge role, such organizations are rare.

The time will soon come may be when our farmers will begin demanding ways to get around certain laws that given them and bring about another revolution.

Top Tips for Selecting Quality Agricultural Tools

If you’re in farming, then budgets are likely to be tight and you’ll often be looking for economies. That’s virtually “business as usual” in agriculture.

However, one area you might not want to cut spending corners in is that of your tools. There might be little point in purchasing prestige items like for example Krone hay equipment if you then put that at risk by trying to maintain it with cheap tools.

So, here are some top tips for selecting quality tools.

1. Look for recognised quality brands. If they’ve been around a long time and have a reputation for quality, then they’re clearly doing something right. Be prepared to pay a little extra, if necessary, for that reassurance.

2. Learn a bit about metal descriptions. For example, if terms such as “HSS” or “Chrome Vanadium” don’t mean much to you, you should research them and other such technical designators. That’s because tool producers often use such designations to describe the quality of the metallurgy they use. Note that metal hardness isn’t always necessarily the only criterion behind selection – read up on that too.

3. Be certain you understand how different tools function and which one is right for the job. Most professional farmers or farm workers will have a good understanding of this but it’s still possible to see people using a totally inappropriate tool for the job. That can be dangerous and put at risk what you’re working on and perhaps any warranties you might have in place. In this sense, quality means “select tools that are fit for purpose”.

4. If you’re buying tools with a brand name you’ve never heard of, research them on the internet first. Try to find out where the manufacturer is based and get objective feedback on their products. Be alert to fraudulent sponsored feedback designed to mislead. You can often spot that by repetitious phraseology used in feedback comments, such as “exceptional value tools”, “truly exceptional quality items” and “an excellent product” all used by supposedly different purchasers in quick succession.

Look out also for feedback that is overly gushing (using lots of superlatives) and that which is left in a language that’s clearly not the native language of the supposed customer concerned. Finally, most legitimate positive feedback is usually terse, such as “good buy and I’m very pleased”. Be suspicious about lots of positive feedback that goes into unnecessary detail – it might suggest the reviewer is being paid by the word and is working too hard to prove their worth.

5. Purchase tools that offer a money-back guarantee. Use a credit card or other payment mechanism that offers you a degree of protection should you demand your money back. That means avoiding cash or cash transfer payment mechanisms.

6. Be very cautious with offers that look too good to be true. Some producers do offer loss-leaders when they’re getting started and that can lead to real bargains but it can also signify that a manufacturer is cutting corners big time on quality.

Good luck with your purchase!