'Agriculture Needs Disruptive Innovations for Development'

Published: 07th November 2015 04:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th November 2015 04:27 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI:  Disruptive innovation in agriculture sector is the path forward for sustainable development in the state, said P H Kurian, principal secretary, department of industries, Kerala, said here on Friday.

He was inaugurating the fourth edition of Kerala’s largest conference on entrepreneurship ‘TiEcon Kerala 2015’. He said historically Kerala had high productive agriculture and hard working farmers. “Times have changed and we lost out in agriculture. Revival of agriculture needs introducing innovative ways,” he said.

Governmental effort and subsidies alone are not sufficient. Lots of local agricultural enthusiasts can come together, form companies and innovate on agriculture production system in Kerala. TiEcon can lead this movement to restore the lost ecosystem through mentoring on agricultural enterprising and technology, reaching out to every part of Kerala, Kurien said.

“Commercialise the sector, use the best of technologies, produce more and create a network that will disrupt the agricultural production scenario in Kerala. Our state needs thousands of entrepreneurs in agriculture in order to disrupt the way people of Kerala think about the enterprise,” he said.

Elaborating on the theme of Tiecon 2015, ‘Driving Entrepreneurship through disruption’  Shyam Srinivasan, MD of Federal Bank said that disruption is the induction of a new idea or product that completely redefines an existing sector, industry or market. Disruptions are not path breaking technologies. In a sector which became unattractive due to negative forces like complications, high cost, stagnation, etc, disruption brings in new idea or product that brings simplicity, affordability and accessibility to a larger population. 

Driving in the point, he cited the most known digital disruptions in the world. Uber, the world’s largest urban transportation company owns no vehicles, Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner creates no content, Alibaba, the world’s most valuable retainer, maintains no inventory and the world’s largest accommodation provider Airbnb owns no property, he said.

Ideo.org which brings low cost precision agriculture through GPS mapping, irrigation  sticks, water table sensor for rice fields, assessing soil types, drainage rates and weather patterns is all set to revolutionise the agriculture sector in developing countries. Bookmybai.com that provides a platform to hire trusted cooks, baby sitters and caretakers and Wowsome water wheel, where village women can pull a water wheel and get a reprieve from carrying water atop their heads and walk kilometers are some of the recent innovations, he said.

A V George, president, TiE Kerala, M S A Kumar and Rajesh Nair, vice president, Tie Kerala, also spoke.

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