KIIT School of Management (KSOM) organized its 9th National Management Convention on 19th February, 2016. The theme of this year’s convention was “Sustainable Agribusiness in India”.

The convention was inaugurated by the keynote speakers Prof. P.G. Chengappa, Former Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University; Prof. Aldas Janaiah, Associate Dean, Agricultural College, Hyderabad; Prof. P. P. Mathur, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University; Prof. Anil Bajpai, Director, KIIT School of Management and Dr. Ashok K. Sar, Dean, KIIT School of Management. The inauguration was followed by the release of the Book of Abstracts and “Parikalpana”.

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The convention was started by a welcome note by Prof. Bajpai. He stressed upon the importance of farming in India. He mentioned that the agricultural sector has a lot of interesting facts about how the growth has happened in the agricultural sector over the years. Stating the importance of agriculture, he also suggested introducing a new curriculum on Agribusiness in KIIT School of Management.

Prof. A. K. Sar introduced the theme of the convention by highlighting the importance of creating such forums for sharing and utilizing knowledge that is helpful for understanding the importance of emerging agribusiness. He sighted that this topic can be categorized into two areas – Productivity and Growth in Agriculture, and Redefining Productivity in Value Chain of Agriculture.

Prof. P.G. Chengappa highlighted that it is essential to make agriculture economic and viable. He gave an overview on the changing context of Indian agriculture, components and schemes of the agribusiness, linking farmers to agribusiness and constraints of agribusiness. He stated that agriculture has evolved from subsistence to semi-commercial and commercial mode. He highlighted that the declining share of agriculture in GDP is a leading issue. He highlighted that various threats like indebtedness, climatic changes and uncertain global environment lead to farmer deaths which pose a fallback on the agricultural sector and agribusiness in India.  Hence reforms in agribusiness is necessary, most importantly emphasis has to be given on empowering the producers i.e. the farmers with knowledge, information and capability, enhancing organized retailing, evaluating the option of working closely with the private sector and attracting large scale investments.

Prof Aldas Janaiah outlined his discussion on the growth and potential, size and strength, policy environment and constraints of agribusiness. He mentioned that technology has played an important role in the growth of agricultural sector over the years. He mentioned a few revolutions like the Green Revolution, White Revolution, etc. that have paved the path towards significant growth of food production and increase in the per capita food production of India. He stated facts and figures on the size and strength of the agricultural economy – where he highlighted that the total size of agribusiness is 47 lakh crore owing to around one-third of the National GDP of India. He ended his discussion by emphasizing on the fact that urbanization, fertilization, globalization and increase in the consumer income have been forces of growth in the agricultural sector. The inaugural session was closed with the vote of thanks of the NMC Convener.

The panel discussion was moderated by hon’ble Director – KSOM, Dr. Anil Bajpai.

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The first speaker was Mr. Basant Nayak. He started his speech, with some quotes from Gandhi & Martin Luther King, concerning the empowerment of the masses. He emphasized on the sustainable food production & was concerned about the inequality in proportion for all the sections of farm production.  He put forward some interesting statistics of India’s stand in Milk, Egg, Meat & various other farm products. Mr. Nayak also introduced few challenges like that of the saturation in production, concentration of large intermediaries without adding value, disintegrating buying, selling and lack of appropriate infrastructure and huge gaps in capability development.

The Next speaker was Mr. Ravi. Nawal. He questioned the fact that, why India can’t have more number of vertical garden, firms and terrace farming. The use of technology, the advanced use of logistics can play an important part in more & more sustainable agri-business in India.

Mr. Sushant K. Khuntia opined for the 4 major participants in agri-business & for its sustainable development, viz. large corporates, entrepreneurs, farmers & hobby gardeners. His words indicated that he was worried about the mindset, psychology of Indian farmers. According to him, they are still unaware of the proper market problems, the location of a profitable market, the alternatives and the procedures to address these.

The final speaker was Mr. Subrat Ranjan Prusti. He is an eminent agriculturist. He gave live examples from his very own orchards, farms and Gardens. He has contributed significantly to the development of not only the farm labourers, farmers but also the development of barren fields to fertile lands. He has significantly used the adapted new technologies from abroad (namely Israel) & adopted them to Indian conditions & emphasized for more such initiatives. He has initiated water pipelines from River Mahanadi for preparing the lands and also sourced that water for all those farmer through whose land the pipe flows. It is indeed a significant partnership model.

The panel discussion was followed by Q & A sessions, from the members of the audience and was ably answered by the panelists.

In the afternoon two presentation tracks were held where around 20 researchers presented their paper on different aspects of sustainable agribusiness. The sessions were chaired by Prof. P. G. Chengappa, Mr. Basant Nayak, Prof. A. Janaiah and Mr. Sushant Kishore Khuntia. The best paper award was given after evaluation of all the presented papers. Dr. Ajith P. was declared the winner of best paper award.

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On the second day an action research workshop was conducted at MGM-Agriventures Ltd. Near Tangi by Prof. Janaiah. The participants were exposed to sustainable agribusiness with specific domains- Floriculture, Polyfarm, Solar energy and rainwater harvesting.

The convention saw a huge amalgamation of different industry practitioners, academicians, faculty members and students from different B-schools.

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