Amit Kumar Singh
Amit Kumar Singh currently heads Tanager’s operations in India as its Country Representative. As someone with a farming background and an education in Agricultural Sciences, he had decided to pursue a line of work in the agri-industry. He was acutely aware of the deteriorating condition of farmers ever since his childhood. When his father chose a career in teaching to give them better education, Mr Singh pursued his passion to do something impactful for the farmers, and, fortunately, he soon got his much-awaited break into the industry. In the course of his illustrious career spanning nearly two decades and with a special focus on agri-business and market development, he has strengthened his experience in conceptualising and executing agriculture and livelihoods development programs within a wide range of value chains, including wheat, paddy, horticulture, forestry, and value-added products. In his current role, he has been successful in managing Tanager’s portfolio of supply chain strengthening activities, with a focus on women and landless farmers in India.
During his professional journey, he has dedicated himself to strengthening communities. He has also built his expertise in conducting large-scale research studies, including baseline and end-term assessments for the USAID, DFID, the Ford Foundation, and UNIDO, among others. Among his many recognitions, he was presented with the Indian Achievers Award for Industry Development in Agribusiness at the National Leadership Summit and Awards 2019. He continues to be extremely passionate about his work, which is dedicated to the betterment of the farming community. This passion ignites in him the inspiration to work ceaselessly in this sector.
You have been the driving force behind several projects that organised over 100,000 smallholder farmers into self-help and producer groups. What would you say is the role and outcome of such groups that focus on women’s socio-economic empowerment? Do they have a direct impact on the livelihoods of farming households as well?
What would you consider as some of the most successful measures so far with regard to improving nutrition and gender equity through agriculture, particularly among smallholder farmers?
The Government of India has introduced several policy initiatives that aim to improve the status of women in agriculture. From your experience with women’s socio-economic empowerment projects, what opportunities do these initiatives offer to create a sustainable, long-term impact on their livelihoods and empower them economically and socially?
Globally, more and more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on ethical or sustainability grounds. What measures can smallholder supply chains take to ensure sustainable and ethical production, not just to satisfy consumer demands but also to improve farmer livelihoods?
How have FPOs benefitted smallholder farmers in India? How can this model be strengthened to ensure farmers can make the most of the facilities made available to them?
An estimate suggests that tenant farmers or cultivators, who do not own farm lands, contribute up to 40% of the total agricultural output. However, most of the benefits that the government provides are often limited to only those who can prove land ownership, thus ignoring those who do not have land titles to their name. How do Tanager’s projects provide assistance to farmers who don’t own land and grow crops on leased land?
Could you tell us about the broad-scale impact that some of Tanager’s agriculture-based projects have on the overall livelihoods of farming communities, such as the ‘Shubh Mint’ project that is driving women empowerment?