Stable, regular incomes continue to elude a majority of the rural and
tribal farming population. And this is largely, as Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
says, because “Farming is increasingly becoming an unviable activity, particularly because of the
nature of the land holdings. Small and marginal farms have become can unviable proposition and
till we make farming as a whole viable at this scale, it would be virtually impossible to reduce
poverty and distress” (editorial in The Economic Times 28.3.08).
Making it viable for small and marginal farmers to live off their land and
become successful entrepreneurs is the focus of this portfolio which is attempting to create
end-to-end solutions in the agriculture sector to tackle issues of land productivity, crop
and pest management and marketing bottlenecks that plague small and marginal farmers .
Focus is also on socially backward youth, who are trained with employable
skills to secure gainful employment in the organized sector. Employability finishing schools
are set up in partnership with corporates to groom and train young boys and girls.
The idea is to equip them with mainstream capabilities and enable them to find competitive
employment opportunities in the market place.