Source: E-mail dt. 8.11.2012
Airdrop Irrigation System – A solution to water scarcity crisis in rural India
Department of management studies
M.A.M College of Engineering & Technology
Trichy, Tamilnadu, India.
Water is said to be the Elixir of life by poets. It is the backbone of Indian farmers. More than 60% in India are rural people but whether they are contented is a million dollar question. They give food to our stomach but they commit suicide with empty stomach. This paper suggests a new innovative system called “AIRDROP IRRIGATION SYSTEM“and the method of marketing that system, which solves the water scarcity problem among the farmers and prevents the suicides of farmers.
Rural markets in India
India is one of the most important markets in 6 P’s across all the dimensions of Profit, Portfolio, Planet, Plant, People, Partnerships and Productivity. All the companies trying to promote their products in Indian rural markets concentrate mainly on three major components. They are active growth of their company in rural markets, selection of growth categories in that rural market and mainly the geographies to place their bets.
Mr.Joseph Tripodi, Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Coca Cola said that they don’t want to neglect the lower income people and rural people in India and they make sure that the product is available, make sure the product is affordable and the packages and right sized (Business Line, November 10, 2011, pp 4). This shows their emphasis towards the marketing of their products in rural areas.
Like the two sides of a coin, our rural markets are becoming rich but the rural people are becoming poorer. The living standards of the farmers are lowered and their life becomes miserable which can be depicted from the increased silent suicides of farmers.
Present picture of farmers
Out Indian farmers mainly rely on the rain water but this rainfall is not proper in Indian rural regions. On analyzing the reasons, scientists give us a long list starting with deforestation, using hazardous chemicals, disturbing the nature and it goes on. Among the Indian population, 80 percent of the people do this for their self well being, which shows its final worst impact on the remaining 20 percent rural farmers.
In this article, the problems of farmers in a remote village named Siddipet in Andhra Pradesh have been taken into scrutiny which gives us an appalling report of increased suicides of farmers. By taking this as a sample of the study, the current life conditions and the miseries of all farmers can be analyzed. Finally an innovative solution can be given with a perfect rural marketing strategy which may reduce the dent.
Challenges for Indian farmers
Due to the geographical structure of Andhra Pradesh, the cultivation period normally falls in the months of October and November. The farmers generally buy seeds and fertilizers in bulk quantity for a large amount of loan from rural banks. For the past three years, rainfall is not proper and sometimes no rainfall in the major parts of Andhra Pradesh. Due to this, all the crops flawed and they had a severe loss which in turn pushes the farmers unable to pay back the loans. Some farmers borrow money from the local financiers who levy heavy interest for the principal amount which tightens the grudges to go for a total family suicide.
Between these two months (October - November) totally 92 farmers have committed suicide whose average age falls within 32.Out of the total 10 districts in Telengana, daily one or two suicides can be witnessed. (Pudhiya Thalaimurai, December 8, 2011, pp 6)
An American Multinational Corporation MANSANTO sells BT COTTON seeds in India. Due to this, the local seed sellers witness a drastic loss because those American seeds will not be affected by BOLWORMS. Also they yield more quintals comparatively than ordinary country seeds. Due to this, both the country seed sellers and the urban public people who consume it are also affected. The natural geographic structure of Andhra Pradesh is such that, they are mainly depend upon Godhavari Delta region which receives comparatively less rainfall and the yield is less when compared to Cauvery delta Regions.
Yet another horrendous report says after the end of the World War II, the remaining chemicals were disposed to the third world countries as pesticides and insecticides. This artificially created a dependence and rise in cost and other problems. If this situation is not analyzed properly, natural disaster may happen anytime. The heavy cost of chemical farming is driving them to suicide. Indirectly, it is affecting the masses also because the use of chemicals has indirectly led to a spurt in deadly diseases. (The Week, “Harvest of Grief”, November20, 2011)
On the other side, the farmers blame the rural banks that even though RBI has introduced a new scheme that the rural banks can provide agricultural loans without surety up to 1 lakh rupees. But due to some external political pressures the rural banks are hesitating to provide those loans to the farmers.
At this juncture, the challenges of rural people in India as a whole can be summarized as follows. Non availability of country seeds is the first main problem which comes out because the price is being decided by the pesticide companies and not by the farmers. The improper power supply adds woes to this. So, after serious investigations, the origin of all these problems was found to be improper rainfall which leads to inadequate water to the fields. This in turns shows that if the problem of water is solved, all these problems solve automatically.
Report from NCRB
NCRB – National Crime Records Bureau, is the organization which reveals the statistics of people deaths with records. NCRB has given a report that, between the years 1995 to 2010, the top five states where the farmer’s suicide is more. They are…
2. Andhra Pradesh
4. Madhya Pradesh
NCRB shows the total death toll in all these states together is 2, 56,913. (www.ncrbindia.com). The pity is, most of the rural people don’t even know about the schemes introduced by the government. So, the government cannot be blamed in this issue, because the unseen truth is 80 percent of the urban people produce fake low income certificates and avail all these facilities.
New product development trend in rural markets
Recently all the functional areas of management i.e. HR, Marketing, R&D are the door to success but marketing is the only key to open those doors. The new product research is becoming increasingly significant because a huge amount is being spent by our government on developing new products. After several studies, it was found that we are lagging behind because of shortage of new product ideas, fragmented markets, increased social and government constraints, cost involved, high rate of product failures and shorter life span of successful products.
Seeking for an alternative
Based on the above said challenges faced by the Indian farmers, the only solution which solves all equations is that they need water to crops. The new solution must be cheap as well as comparatively effective. The name of the new innovative system is “AIRDROP IRRIGATION SYSTEM” which was invented by Mr. Edward in Australia.
Akin to Andhra Pradesh, the people of a remote village named Murray Darling in Australia also faced the same problem. Mr. Edward, a young farmer came across a different type of bug called “STENOCARA GRACILIPES” in Namibia in Africa which has a natural tendency of absorbing the moisture in air and converts it into water and lives by drinking it [Journal of Insect Physiology / December 2001 V47 (12) ]. He converted that idea into a simple system using some pieces of steel, wires and condensers and created “AIRDROP IRRIGATION SYSTEM” which has turbines that absorbs moisture in air and converts into water and sends to the crops in fields.
Merits of this system
This system gives water continuously since air with moisture will be available until this planet exists. The system runs in solar energy so the problem of improper power supply doesn’t have any connection with this. While farmers use this method with country seeds, the soil gets fertile and the quality of the crops is raised.
Apriori marketing approach towards the product
For marketing this product, the government or any private company which takes initiation to produce this product can discuss and get opinion with the rural peoples, rural customers, salesmen, suppliers, dealers and share holders. Then the system can be tested before the rural people and its merits can be explained to them. The costs and profits can be estimated so that everything is within the brackets of safety.
The system can be sold in rural markets by its suitability as well as reliability and the product can be segmented by its performance. The two-tire system of marketing can be followed where one tier is the distributors and the other tier is the stockists. The service of those two tier peoples can be remunerated by pre determined commission rates.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”. Innovations which mostly get success are generally trial-able, divisible, reversible, tangible and familiar. From the pen of Andera Syverson, the Ten Commandments on the brands are play, be, listen, conduct, dare, herald, craft, reveal, kindle and integrate. These powerfully important verbs make the brands to sit in the hands of the consumers (Andera Syverson - Brand About, Macmillan Publishers India, 2011).
Though marketing in rural areas boast many challenges, if they substitute the word “BRAND” for “LIFE”, they can thwart these suicides because life is a onetime game.