Shashi Prakash Mishra Rural Craft & Engg Section MGIRI, Wardha, Maharashtra
Our country is endowed with a good degree of ethnic and regional diversity. About three fourth of the total population resides in the rural areas and majority of them are dependent upon agriculture and micro village industries for their subsistence. The development of the nation largely, depends upon the development of the rural population. Mahatma Gandhi had once said: “India’s way is not Europe’s, India is not Calcutta and Bombay, India lives in her several hundreds of villages” (Gomathi Viswanathan, D, 2008). The rapid economic growth of-any developing country is mainly governed by three factors: increasing food production and other major inputs of industry; increasing the income levels of middle and lower strata of the population and most importantly provision of basic infrastructure and planning a national marketing system and thereby increasing the size of the national market is also essential to integrate the marketing systems with the needs and wants of the consumer with available resources. This is the hallmark of economic development. Development of village Industries in India is being pursued since the beginning of the planning era in 1950-51. The main objectives of the comprehensive plan of village industries is the creation of widespread employment opportunities, reduction of inequities, addressing regional imbalances and creation of a base for entrepreneurial development. As a result of the policy of planned economic and industrial development followed during the last fifty years, village industries have made a phenomenal progress in different parts of the country including rural, even hilly and remote areas and are now making a significant contribution towards the National Economy, including export earnings. The village industries are broadly two types- Agro based industries & Artisanal based traditional industries.
Agriculture contributes about 24.7% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. It also contributes about 13.1% to the total Indian exports. This sector provides employment to 58.4% of the country's workforce and livelihood to more than 650 million people. Despite this fact, the condition of these people has not shown any significant improvement. Indian agricultural food market is extremely fragmented, having large number of players both on the buyers and sellers side. Presence of large number of players do not necessarily means high of completion and efficiency as their size prohibits them to make necessary investment in production and procurement of the food materials. Presently there are too many intermediaries in the Indian food chain merely increasing the cost of agricultural produce without adding any value to it. Consolidation of the food chain is suggested to be one way of getting rid of this problem. The advantage of consolidation is that it will lead to the decrease in the number of intermediaries and subsequent decrease in the spread between farmer price and consumer price. In India generally farmers get 25% of the final consumer price compare to the developed and other developing countries in South East Asia where this percentage is around 60%-70%. In order to promote the marketing, increase of the productivity of the farm is imperative. Apart from that, innovations in marketing of agricultural products are essential. Development of market can lead to increased vertical coordination leading to consolidation along the food chain. It can lead to the demand for public funding of infrastructure necessary for agriculture and food...