If India moves from its ‘Make in India’ approach to a new ‘Grow in India’ strategy there is a new dawn awaiting the country.
In the looming economic crisis in the post-COVID-19 world, India could emerge as a great economy if it plays its cards well right now. Its dominant rural population engaged in agricultural and Allied Industries could hold the key to its fortunes and establish the nation as the ‘Granary of the World’ meeting essential needs at premium prices. With a little push in the right direction from the government, introduction of corporate culture in agriculture and skillful management of the immediate crisis, India could well be on the map of the strongest economies in the world once the COVID-19 eclipse begins to wane.
Though there are imminent challenges in the battle against COVID-19 such as inflation, unemployment, deepening poverty but if India moves from its ‘Make in India’ approach to a new ‘Grow in India’ strategy there is a new dawn awaiting the country. We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that manufacturing will shift to India because China has taken a hit right now.
Of course, first we need to set our own house in order and address the urgent issues of stranded migrant labour and support to farmers to help them store their perishable goods. I have spoken to farmers who say while they are not affected by COVID-19 and are harvesting their produce, the only stumbling block is reaching their produce to the mandis in towns. Labour, in fact, has been more readily available as several migrant workers have returned home. Even if some of the perishable items are going waste, they are being sold at higher prices making up for the farmer’s losses.