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One-day international agri-symposium

A unique one-day international symposium on “Building Shared Value in Agribusiness” will be organized by Jain Irrigation Systems Limited (JISL), India and Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (ESP), USA, here on February 12. Management experts Such as Dr. Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School (HBS), Dr. Ray Goldberg, an HBS Emeritus and regarded as the father of agri-business programmer at HBS and Dr. Kasturi Rangan, who teaches the popular Business at the Base of the Pyramid course at HBS, will deliver keynote addresses at the symposium.

Mr. Bhavarlal Jain, Founder-Chairman of JISL, Mr. Anil Jain, Managing Director and CEO of JISL and Ms. Nancy Barry, President NBA Enterprise Solutions lo Poverty, will introduce The theme of the symposium. More than 8O agribusiness and banking leaders as well as small farmer in India are expected to participate in the symposium

The symposium will take stock of the asset base and existing stages to chalk out course of action to tackle slow growth and low-productivity with small farmers in India. The symposium would focus on what the private sector can do to build profitable, inclusive agribusiness, emphasizing the need to do much more with existing land, water and farmers. The symposium will deliberate on key areas where the private sector can play a major pro-active role.

"I believe that we can put small farmer’s prosperity at the center of our business models, and show the world that it is this approach that will transform Indian agriculture, preserve our natural resources and give the greatest value to shareholders in the years to come. 1 believe that India is the place to show how to build modern agriculture with small farmer," says Mr Bhavarlal Jain, Chairman, JISL.

Themes being discussed at symposium are as follows :

Building innovative aggregation models and distribution systems will be essential to provide efficient, mutually profitable access to inputs, information, advice, finance and markets to many small farmers, using direct engagements of large and small agribusinesses, competent producer organizations and agro-dealer distribution systems.

Increasing the supply of productivity enhancing inputs bundled with advice and information will be important to increase yields and earnings of formers who have uneven awareness and receptivity to modern methods.

Accelerating the move from flood to drip irrigation will produce dramatic benefits in increased yields and water conservation and finding solutions for very small farmers.

Increasing mechanization will be needed to respond to the organic consolidation combined with labor shortages occurring in agriculture, as a result of urban migration, agriculture development in states that have been traditional sources of seasonal labor, and unintended consequences of rural poverty subsidies.

Increasing farm family incomes through value chain operations in higher value commodities as well as agri-solutions and agri-finance are needed if ambitious, more highly educated young people are to be induced to stay in and enter agriculture.

Increasing storage, value chain and other post-harvest solutions are needed to reduce wastage of agricultural produce.

Increasing access to finance and crop/weather insurance need to be combined with inputs, advice and market linkages if productivity and earnings are to increase.

It will also seek the active support of governments, which can frame supportive policies. According to the organizers, sound government policy can encourage and support private sector actions by :

  • Building India as one market - encouraging modern value-chains that engage small farmers.
  • Tackling key infrastructure bottlenecks constraining domestic and export growth
  • Encouraging private sector investment and expenditures in infrastructure development, R&D, demonstration farms, weather insurance, knowledge and information transfer, precision farming packages and other productivity breakthroughs for small farmers
  • Encouraging private institutions to expand agile financing for farmers, crop insurance, and post-harvest financing of key private value-chain players.
  • Balancing producer and consumer needs, with farmers needing remunerative pricing and consumers expecting low-food inflation.
  • Addressing the food-water-energy nexus in an Integrated manner
  • Recognizing the productive, organic land use consolidation that is occurring with urban migration and labor shortages in agriculture, with revision of land acquisition laws.

Symposium is expected to result to action oriented agenda to build prosperity for small farmers by collaboration between private sector initiatives which are based on sustainable business models.

home in India to largest number of small farmers in the world.