Ikisan Agri-Informatics & Services Division of Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (NFCL) was initiated in 1999. NFCL is a company belonging to the Nagarjuna group that has significant presence in the Indian agri input sector encompassing crop nutrients, crop protection chemicals, specialty nutrition, micro-irrigation, agricultural research and development, bio-technology apart from presence in other core sectors of the economy. It is based in Hyderabad with its own infrastructure/personnel. Ikisan is one of the few to have persevered successfully in a nascent sub-sector that exhibits tremendous growth potential.
Ikisan is an initiative for using information technology for the benefit of agriculture. The initiative is based on the fact that substantial gaps exist in agriculture between the actual and potential in terms of productivity, quality and costs.
The genesis of Ikisan idea is from the Nagarjuna groups' involvement of farmers in its various initiatives, such as market development programs, farmer training programs, Krishi Vignana Kendra, apart from the pioneering Farm Management Services (FMS). Under FMS crop management and productivity improvement programs have been conducted for farmers with a view to enhancing farm yields and creating larger farmer value.
The FMS program essentially involves:
- Developing crop specific and site specific technical package of practices.
- Disseminating knowledge and enabling farmers to make knowledge based decision.
- Optimizing cost through holistic approach
- Integrating multiple technologies.
- Bringing about value added agriculture.
Substantial increase in farmer yields, reduction in costs and thereby increasing Cost-Benefit ratio to the farmers has been achieved. The success of FMS program is a result of creation of an ecosystem wherein synthesis of the following components successfully takes place.
- Provision on inputs like quality seeds, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals and credit.
- Implementation on better farm management practices developed through the application of research and knowledge gained through active intervention.
- Facilitation of farm produce trade through Agri Output Business Division.
- Ikisan is an extension of these efforts to replicate FMS model in other areas overcoming the geographic limitations of the FMS model by leveraging the reach and richness power of modern ICT tools.
Shri K V K Raju - An Eternal Source of Inspiration
Nagarjuna Group is a dream willed into reality by its visionary Founder Shri KVK Raju who is a first generation technopreneur born in a humble agricultural family in Andhra Pradesh on November 28, 1928. On graduating from Banaras Hindu University and the Madras Institute of Technology he went on to complete his Master's in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota, USA. After a short stint in the American Industry he returned to India and worked for Caltex Oil Refinery, Orient General Industries and Associated Electrical Industries. Finally, he joined Union Carbide of India and stayed there for 15 years. While working with Union Carbide, KVK's deep-rooted urge to serve society through industry impelled him to start a venture of his own. Thus was born Nagarjuna Group in 1973 with an investment of US$ 23 million. The Group has since then come a long way to become a diversified conglomerate with an asset base of US$ 2.5 billion.
A recipient of various awards for his outstanding contribution to the industry and society, KVK, was a firm believer in the adage "practice what you preach". A self-made man KVK practised simple living and high thinking. He dreamt big and worked with an unstinted focus of mind and body to make those dreams come true. KVK was a visionary with firm belief in his mission to serve society through industry. It is this belief, which continues to be the guiding light of Nagarjuna Group.