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Creating jobs for India’s rural youth: Akshay Babar’s story

India

Agricultural businesses will play a vital role in India’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The sector accounted for almost a fifth of India’s total GDP in recent years and with 70 % of the country’s population living in rural areas, there is a need for job creation for these communities.

Find out how young agripreneur Akshay Babar supports local farmers through his biofertilizer production business while providing decent work to rural youth.

Growing up on a farm near Pune, India, 25-year-old Akshay had an interest in agriculture since his childhood. At a young age, he started experimenting with different farming techniques to see if they could increase agricultural production and dreamt about starting his own business to support his family.

Akshay first started selling agricultural products while he was still at university studying for his BSc in Agricultural Biotechnology. The positive feedback he received from his customers boosted his confidence and reassured him in his plan to start his own business. This dream came true in 2019 when Akshay met with YBI member Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST). BYST helped him get a loan to start his biofertilizers production business ‘Yogeshwari Agro Biotech’ in a rural area of Western Maharashtra, India.

BYST also paired Akshay with an experienced mentor who helped him create a business plan and could provide guidance on selecting the right machinery for his factory. During the COVID-19 lockdown in India, Akshay was lucky enough to continue to receive orders from farmers that kept his business going and allowed him to pay his eight employees without interruption.

One of these employees is Vidya Pawar who looks after the microbiology department. Vidya says “It is very difficult to get a good job in this rural area. But Akshay gave me a chance. Throughout the pandemic, he has taken very good care of the entire staff and made sure to keep the business running.”

Akshay is proud to provide employment to rural youth like Vidya and support local farmers to increase their production volume with his products. To grow his business further, Akshay is now learning about digital marketing techniques with support from BYST through our Accelerating Youth-led Businesses in the Digital Era programme, funded by IKEA Foundation.

Listen to Akshay share his story:

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