Workforce Strategies for Tech-Driven Agri Businesses

Agri-businesses and agrochemicals industries have been growing steadily and surely in India making these strong champions of the worldwide stance. Since 2017, the agricultural sector has shown remarkable growth and investments taking place. The funding mechanism becomes strong by the day, for this fold in India.

While this is getting sorted, the bigger picture lies in understanding the need and importance of workforce strategies. With smart staffing solutions, bulk-hiring, and tech solutions that bring smoothen the processes on the recruitment and HR side, it is essential to understand the impact that technology has on agri-businesses and how that directly affects the workforce strategies.

Digitalization has slowly and surely started metamorphosing the economy across sectors including agri-businesses, in India. The agri-businesses contribute nearly 20% of the GDP, which has been a buzz of late.

There are several important activities that are just a click of a button away. The improved efficiencies, connectivity, knowledge sharing, and other important tasks are a result of the rise of tech-driven agri-businesses.

PM Modi flagged the special initiative of using drones to spray pesticides and called it a new chapter in the direction of the modern agriculture spectrum in India. In February, 2022, 100 kisan drones were used to spray pesticides across India as kickstart activity of this initiative.

In a major stimulus for the farming and agriculture sector the Indian Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced a budget for 2022-23 favouring the upliftment of this sector.

PLI – In the international markets with an outlay of lots of crores of Indian rupees, and commensurate with the country’s Indian brands of food products, natural resources endowment, the PLI scheme for the Food Processing Industry (PLISFPI) and the build of global food manufacturing.

Scheme highlights:

  • The conditions of stipulated Minimum Sales and mandated investment will not be applicable for entities selected for making innovative/ organic products.
  • The second component relates to support for branding and marketing abroad to incentivize the emergence of strong Indian brands.
  • Support creation of global food manufacturing champions;
  • Strengthen select Indian brands of food products for global visibility and wider acceptance in the international markets;
  • Increase employment opportunities for off-farm jobs,
  • Ensuring remunerative prices of farm produce and higher income for farm
  • For the promotion of the Indian Brands abroad, the scheme envisages grants to the applicant entities for – in-store Branding, shelf space renting, and marketing.

AI (Artificial intelligence) works in major areas such as testing soil. Checking the proper environment for the crops is extremely important and also equally critical.

Furthermore, there are many special factors that affect and reflect farming and agriculture. These result in the cultivation of the crops or adversely in the destruction. What plays a pivotal role is the information available at the required time, such as weather forecast, soil quality, water quality, and seed quality.

An upgrade in farming tools and equipment goes hand in hand. When knowledge of agriculture, digital technology, and the agri-workforce blend together in the right direction the result will be a revolution in the way the agriculture sector functions and the lives of the farmers look ahead.

Water, rain, and harvesting go together. The quality of soil, content, and minerals in water becomes the most critical phase in farming. Quality and categorization of seeds and soils is the most essential factor. Adding to this would be the pesticides and fertilisers. All these could be automated fully or partially, aiding the farmers and the farming.

AI-enabled planting and weeding, automated irrigation, and harvesting all are a boon to India as it is formerly an agriculture-facing country.

Workforce strategies are essential for tech-driven agri-businesses as it makes it true for “two eyes make one sight”. Some of the key points include:

  • Formalisation
  • Knowing the pain points
  • Supply Analysis
  • Demand Analysis
  • Gap Analysis
  • Solution implementation
  • Staffing Management

In terms of the scale of output, productivity, value addition, and their linkages with the global value chain, achieving the full potential of this sector would require Indian companies to improve their competitive strength vis-à-vis their global counterpart. Growth of the tech-driven agri-businesses can move up drastically with workforce strategies and hence the requirement for manpower is going to be at an all-time high. Along with the automation and technology in the foreground, Smart Staffing solution providers have a major role to play in this journey in terms of providing skilled labour, bulk labour in a short span, along with digital workforce solutions, all at one spot.

Author

Sumit Sarabhai

Senior General Manager
TeamLease Services Limited

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