Agro entrepreneurship is definitely the future.
If you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur in the post-COVID-19 recovery world, there are a million reasons why you should be considering the agricultural pathway.
For starters, all of us need to eat. Whether pandemic hit or not, people will continue to buy their food.
The agro entrepreneurship road has also been endorsed and supported by the Government which is encouraging economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 environment.
Organic farming encouraged in agro entrepreneurship –
Already, Mahaweli land is being declared as sustainable development area for organic and sustainable farming.
The Government expects to keep the area free of agro chemicals and pesticides, designated as a green organic zone.
The Government expects the venture to be undertaken as a Public Private Partnership, thereby giving the benefits of the project to the participating people.
Sustainable farming – an ancient legacy revived –
Our ancestors were no strangers to the methods of sustainable farming.
They practiced it for centuries.
Every farming initiative was undertaken while giving careful consideration to preservation of crops, soil, seeds and farming methodology for the next round of farming.
As a result, Sri Lanka had a rich heritage of farming which was forgotten with the advent of sponsored modern methodologies that culminated in the destruction of the soil and degeneration of farming methods.
Our ancient farmers used organic and natural fertilizers and pesticides and knew the cycles of farming well – they knew when the pests would come and knew when to plant which crop which would then be nurtured by nature to grow.
Agro entrepreneurship – with a modern twist –
Today, as many of us seek to go back to the old way of growing what we eat, there is plenty of opportunity for enterprising and innovative agro entrepreneurs to up their game.
Not only is there a thriving market locally for organic produce but the international demand is sky high – given the exceptional quality of Sri Lankan produce – for an example, Sri Lankan black pepper is recognized as the best, along with many other spices.
There are newer ways of marketing – online markets and digital engagement are key areas for agro entrepreneurs to find markets.
Smaller , agro entrepreneur managed cultivation vs mass produced food farms –
Consumers all over the world are gradually turning away from mass produced food farms that produce quantity as opposed to quality.
They are turning to farmer managed, smaller yet sustainable and manageable ventures that pay attention to what they grow.
Such ventures are increasingly popular – in the west, big supermarkets chains also buy from such farmer/entrepreneur owned initiatives that assure quality although low in numbers.
Yet, given the mass produced, chemical packed production cycles of big time food producers, the consumer preference for smaller, better quality quantities made by small agro entrepreneurs, is increasing.
Traditional crops and foods as healthy choices are making a comeback –
Foods that were an integral part of ancient Sri Lankan way of life are making a string comeback.
From heirloom rice varieties to finger millet, these ancient yet extremely healthy choices are becoming popular as more and more consumers turn to them.
Sri Lankans are increasingly choosing to go back to non-wheat based choices – even carb free alternatives such as millet, coconut flour and lotus seeds. This trend is growing globally as well.
As we are trying to recover from the COVID-19 impact, there has never been a greater time to choose the road of agro entrepreneurship.