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Entrepreneurial effectiveness of agripreneurs in Kerala


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Seema, B
College of Agriculture, Vellayani
Agricultural Extension
Entrepreneurial effectiveness of agripreneurs in Kerala

The study entitled ‘Entrepreneurial effectiveness of agripreneurs in Kerala’ was undertaken with the major objective of measuring the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs in Kerala, their socio-personal characteristics, the economic dimensions of the enterprises as well as the extent of possession of the entrepreneurial attributes by the agripreneurs. The study also aimed at inventorizing the agripreneurs operating in the selected districts of the state. The research project was undertaken in the Kasargod, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram districts of the state. From each district 60 agripreneurs comprising 20 on-farm agripreneurs, 20 off-farm agripreneurs and 20 commercial farmers were selected. Thus a total of 180 agripreneurs selected from the three districts constituted the sample for the study. The data collected was statistically analyzed using arithmetic mean, percentage, correlation, analysis of variance and principal component analysis. The inventory of the agro-enterprises prepared for the selected districts revealed that the on – farm agri-business activities such as mushroom cultivation, floriculture, apiculture, ornamental fish culture, and the animal based enterprises were found to be more predominant in the Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur districts while sericulture was more popular in the Thrissur and Kasargod districts. Nursery production was a principal agri-business activity in the Thrissur district and the number of nurseries in the district largely out numbered those in the other two districts. Among the off-farm agri-business activities, the food related processing units, the mat weaving units, the jute products units, the palm spathe products units and the paper bag units were found to be more concentrated in the Thrissur district followed by the Thiruvananthapuram district while the beedi making units were found to be more predominant in the Kasargod district. The commercial farmers were found to be more or less evenly distributed in the three districts with the commercial tobacco and areca nut farmers being restricted to the Kasargod district. The study revealed that the off-farm agripreneurs were entrepreneurially the most effective category followed by the on-farm agripreneurs and the commercial farmers who were found to be on almost on par in their effectiveness. The district-wise and category-wise comparison of the six sub-dimensions of entrepreneurial effectiveness namely production management effectiveness, finance management effectiveness, marketing management effectiveness, labour management effectiveness, risk management effectiveness and time management effectiveness revealed that majority of the respondents in all the categories in case of each sub-dimension belonged to medium effectiveness category. The on-farm agripreneurs, off-farm agripreneurs and commercial farmers exhibited significant differences in their effectiveness only in case of marketing management effectiveness and risk management effectiveness where as significant difference was observed between the agripreneurs belonging to the three districts in case of the possession all the six sub-dimensions of entrepreneurial effectiveness. The district based categories of the agripreneurs exhibited significant differences in their overall entrepreneurial effectiveness scores while the activity-based categories of agripreneurs exhibited no significant differences in their entrepreneurial effectiveness. The Principal Component Analysis of the six sub-dimensions of entrepreneurial effectiveness indicated that the first principal component accounted for the largest percentage variance in the entrepreneurial effectiveness scores of the agripreneurs with the largest magnitude of variation contributed by the sub-dimension viz. ‘Market management effectiveness’ followed by ‘Production management effectiveness’ and ‘Finance management effectiveness’. Thus it was deduced that it is the effectiveness of the agripreneurs in the management of the market for their produce which largely determine their effectiveness in the business followed by their effectiveness in the management of production and finance. Analysis of the relationship between the socio-personal variables and the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs revealed that age of the agripreneurs was negatively correlated with the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs, indicating that the agripreneurs belonging to the younger age groups were entrepreneurially more effective. The variables such as education, annual income, social participation, extension contact, mass media exposure, and the diversification of the agri-business activities were found to have positive and significant correlation with the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs, while the training received was found to have no significant relation with the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs since majority of the entrepreneurs in all the three categories received no training in relation to their enterprise activities. The correlation between the possession of the entrepreneurial attributes by the agripreneurs and their entrepreneurial effectiveness revealed that the possession of all the entrepreneurial attributes studied namely achievement motivation, self confidence, personal resourcefulness, attitude towards self employment, internal locus of control, risk orientation, economic opportunism, innovativeness, market perception and strategic visioning were positively and significantly correlated with the entrepreneurial effectiveness of the agripreneurs. The most important constraints faced by the on-farm and off-farm agripreneurs in their decreasing order of importance are the high cost of the inputs, the difficulty in securing credit and the shortage of labour and high wage rates occupying the first three ranks respectively. In case of the on farm agripreneurs the other major problems were the lack of storage facilities and the exploitation by the middle men while in case of the off-farm agripreneurs the constraints securing the fourth and the fifth ranks were the exploitation by the middle man and the lack of adequate training facilities. The commercial farmers also rated the high cost of inputs as the most important constraint followed by the labour shortage and the ever increasing wage rates, the difficulty in securing credit, the constant fluctuations in the market prices of the produce and the incidence of pests and diseases in the crops. Some of the important suggestions for improvement of the agri-business in the state includes fostering linkages between the institutions undertaking research and development activities in agriculture with the farmer’s organizations thereby ensuring them better technical back up, putting the credit systems in place, ensuring the availability of good quality inputs at reasonable costs, popularization of simple, affordable and durable post-harvest technologies for use at the farm level, establishment of small-scale collecting, cleaning, pre-cooling, grading and packaging centers in the Panchayats to reduce the post harvest losses and increase the shelf life of the perishables, establishment of contributory chilling and pasteurization plants at the village level, formation of self-help groups by the farmers for the preparation of value added products and undertaking group marketing of the products, ensuring better insurance cover for the farmers, linking the farmers co-operatives with the district or state co-operatives, to ensure better access to market intelligence, introducing facilities for grading, standardization and branding of the agricultural commodities to increase the consumer acceptance and providing incubation facilities for the processing and value addition of the agricultural produce, with suitable agencies for use by the resource poor agripreneurs.


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