An Agri-Entrepreneur from the small village of Bihar
Nandkishor Kumar - an inspiration: case study
“I never thought that we would achieve so much and that I would succeed.”
-Nandkishore Kumar, SFI’s Agri.-Entrepreneur
Nandkishor Kumar, an agri-entrepreneur from the small village of Bahadurpural in the Champaran district of Bihar, joined Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) in March 2018. Kumar completed his AE training initiative through NIRD & PR, Hyderabad, SFI, and JEEViKA.
Kumar comes for an eight-member family that had a scanty household income of INR 3,000 monthly. Kumar’s parents are marginal farmers and owned a small parcel of 2 acres of land. Additionally, they worked as agricultural laborers to support the family while Kumar’s younger brother (16 years of age) started a small kinara store to help the family.
Kumar who is a Political Science Graduate, completed his graduation in 2013, however, he could not secure a job for the coming 3 years. His attempts at securing a job failed as malpractices continue to rig the process of getting the few job opportunities that are available. He faced frequent demands for high bribes (as high as INR 2, 00,000) which offered no guarantee of a job.
In 2016, Kumar began working as a Village Resource Person (VRP) in JEEViKA (State Rural Livelihood Mission) as a part of his local Panchayat. He simultaneously served as a VRP for the Chameli Village Organization (VO). He earned a monthly honorarium of INR 1,500.
In 2018, Nandkishor qualified SFI’s AE selection process and successfully completed his training, Kumar began working alongside 300 farmers. By May, Kumar opened an Agri. input store with a capital of just INR 12,000.
Today, Kumar’s total revenue amount crosses INR 55 lakhs and Kumar works alongside 400 customers and provides various services to an average of 15-20 customers on an everyday basis. He earned a net profit of 8-10% through the sale of these products, an approximate INR 4.5 lakh profit. This was a huge profit considering his earlier wages of INR 1500per month as compared to the INR 30,000 per month he earns today.
Kumar has a multitude of businesses besides his input services like providing Agri. extensions to farmers which includes crop advisory. Furthermore, he provides services such as market linkage (for crops like paddy), digital financial services (money transfer, withdrawal, mobile recharges, bill payments for commodities such as electricity, purchase of railway tickets, etc.). In addition, Kumar also involves block agricultural officers into the framework of his business in order to give his farmers access to consultancy support.
Currently, his digital financial services business has increased his annual turnover by an estimated INR 20 lakh. Kumar’s venture into digital banking was widely used by the women associated with Kumar’s business, primarily because it saved them the hassle of expensive travel for banking services.
Kumar understands the requirement of his farmers being content and elucidates upon how without their satisfaction, his business will not flourish.
Written by: Sharan Ghai