KIIT School of Rural Management (KSRM) conducted National Agribusiness Conclave 2020 on 18th January, 2020. The overall objective of the Conclave was to bring together policy makers, researchers, industrial leaders/practitioners and students to discuss issues, challenges and way forward on agribusiness and food processing sector in India. The conclave gave a unique opportunity to inquisitive minds to interact with and get inspired by the leaders. There were two panel discussions in the Conclave. The themes for the panel discussions were: (1) Doubling Farmers’ Income: Role of Agri Inputs; and (2) Effective Supply Chain Management for deriving value to Food Processing Industry.

Prof. Himanshu Pathak, Director, National Rice Research Institute was the Chief Guest of the Conclave. He discussed on the importance of rice production through improved varieties, along with other agricultural products, in doubling the farmers’ income. He mentioned that agriculture is the ‘culture’ of rural India and one of the oldest businesses in India. “Science of discovery and science of delivery” and “changing focus from production oriented agriculture to  market oriented agriculture” are other important areas in agriculture, remarked Prof. Pathak.

Addressing the audience, Prof. Hrushikesha Mohanty, Vice Chancellor, KIIT Deemed to be University mentioned that positive changes in agriculture sector has to come from within the country. He advised the students to get inspiration from the Indian success cases. Prof. Mohanty also suggested to bring out an edited book on this conclave proceedings.

At the outset, placing the Welcome Address, Prof. Nishith Parida, Director, KIIT School of Rural Management explained the state of agriculture sector and how supply chain management is important in doubling farmers’ income. In his address, Prof. Nirmal K Mandal, Conclave Coordinator laid focus on the important challenges of agriculture sector and set the context for the panel discourse. Eventually, Vote of Thanks was proposed by Prof. Damodar Jena of KSRM.

The dignitaries participated in the first theme from different professional fields include: Mr. Venkatram Vasantavada, Managing Director & CEO SeedWorks International; Mr. Sanjay Chaudhary, Country Director, Sinochem India; Mr. Puneet Pokhriyal, Country Manager, Skretting India; Mr. Srinivasa Karavadi, Managing Director, Bayer Bangladesh and Head – Market Development (India, Bangladesh & Srilanka); and Mr. Rajsekhar Mandal, Vice President – Business, Samunnati. Similarly, experts participated in the second theme include: Mr. Manojit Indra, Former Head – Procurement, Jubilant FoodWorks; Mr. Vipul Mittal, Head – Procurement, BigBasket; Mr. Ramesh Moorthy S, Chief Merchandising Officer, Reliance Retail; Mr. Kailash Gahir, Chief Growth Officer, Milk Mantra; and Mr. Nilesh Lele, Founder & Managing Director, Exelon Foodbio.

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