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New age for agriculture, infrastructure sector


Santhoshi Buddhiraju Visakhapatnam: In an industry where there is a rare presence of women, Santhoshi Buddhiraju, Co-Founder and CEO of Hyderabad-based Autocracy Machinery, not only made a mark in the agriculture and infrastructure sector by pushing the boundaries but also reached out to the farming community with her tailored equipment and tools. In a span of one-and-a-half years, she has become adept in breaking stereotypes in a male-dominated domain. With customised products in the agriculture and infrastructure sector picking up gradually and penetration of internet into rural India enriching the farmers with much-required knowledge, she says, “YouTube, TikTok and other social media platforms aid in providing content to the agricultural communities which would otherwise be inaccessible to them.” “These platforms have opened up new opportunities for the farmers to know about technology available, check if we could manufacture products that are compatible with Indian soils for them. But the roadblock is such machinery and tools are not readily adaptable to our existing equipment. Through our venture, we are now coming up with a one stop solution to which any attachment can be plugged-in and used as per the requirement of the farmers,” explains Santhoshi in an exclusive interview with The Hans India. In order to make farm machinery more affordable for communities, she suggests hiring as it is an easy and affordable option. She says, “But the government and FPOs (farmer producer organisations) have to take the first step forward in purchasing the machinery and then lease it out to the individual farmer at an affordable price.” Elaborating about bringing in indigenous and tailored agricultural manufacturing equipment to the market, Santhoshi emphasises that the government should encourage startups which are bringing new technologies into the country by allotting subsidies to them faster. “It becomes difficult for a farmer to have all the necessary machinery. But, with the government’s vision of ‘one village one product’, steps should be considered to push the FPOs and customer hiring centres to have all the machinery which can be utilised for the relevant crop wherein farmers can hire them as and when they require,” she advocates. From ground preparation for the crop to planting, irrigation to harvesting, a plenty of farm-friendly machinery are now available for major crops. “However, they are not available for the small and marginal farmers. Most of the farmers in our country have small holdings which makes it difficult for them to access the required machinery. Keeping the scarcity of manpower in rural areas in view, it is the right time for the push from the state and central governments for farm mechanisation,” opines the 31-year-old CEO. The manpower could be put to better use and agriculture and infrastructure products have to be manufactured to provide ease of doing business and minimise the drudgery of farmers to a substantial extent. Sharing merits and demerits of embarking on Autocracy during Covid times, she recalls that those were days when imports had been reduced to a trickle. Prototype was built pulling together a supply chain to procure the parts involved in building the machine, visiting multiple vendors at their home destinations within the prescribed lockdown regulations to agree on design parameters and timely delivery of machine parts form a part of the challenges experienced then by the startup company. “Moreover, the performance of our prototype was to be tested across various soil types. Also, the design was modified to accommodate vendor limitations. Above all, there’s a need to pitch a leap of faith with the industrial houses to engage with a startup,” she adds.

From: thehansindia

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