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Trained management professionals can better fix Agri-business problems: IIM-A

"Trained management professionals can better fix Agri-business problems IIM-A"

Indian Institute of Management Ahamadabad (IIM-A) Agri-economist says that trained professionals and management experts can play a vital role in fixing problems in Agri-business sector.

At a time when India’s farmers are suffering losses due to low realizations and wastages, management experts believe that the implementation of modern management practices in addressing the farm trade’s existing shortfall.

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Agriculture economist Satish Deodhar expressed the need for trained professionals and management experts to cater to this niche market of agribusiness and management, highlighting key issues of farmers’ plights such as reduced income and exploitation by middlemen.

‘Inefficiency occurs when a farmer receives 30 paisa from a rupee for his produce and the remaining 70 paisa goes solely to trader margins. However, if this 70 paisa is used for value-addition, it generates employment and extension activities such as value-addition. This eventually contributes to an increase in farmer income’ Deodhar, Chairperson of the Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad’s Post-Graduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management (FABM), said.

IIM-A prepares agribusiness management professionals to be effective managers in this niche market. The current PGP-FABM batch size at IIM-A is 47 students, with a sizable proportion of them coming from the outskirts.

Academic programs such as FABM play an important role in bridging the gap between agriculture and management professions by bringing rural families closer to urban centers. ‘When our graduates go into the market, they are ambassadors of management ideas,’ he added.

Deodhar suggests modern management solutions such as vertical integration for farming, as well as corporate engagement through corporate farming and processes ‘Corporate clients, want the right delivery at the right time and with the right quality. As a result, it is in their best interests to provide farmers with high-quality seeds, cutting-edge technology, and price guarantees.’

Once farmers have access to markets, there will be market discipline and price discovery will be transparent. Farmers have the option of selling wherever prices are higher. Farmers benefit from this competitiveness because it ensures a remunerative price.

‘The government has not abandoned Minimum Support Price (MSP) under the new farm laws. So, if nothing goes in the farmers’ favor, he can undoubtedly go to the government and sell at MSP under the market system. With this mechanism, both end-point stakeholders – farmers and consumers – should benefit more, and middlemen should be eliminated’ Deodhar emphasized the importance of providing farmers with credible and actionable price, weather, and market information.

This creates new opportunities for entrepreneurship in climate information dissemination. There are entrepreneurship programs in addition to general management, agriculture supply chain management, and other programs.

Also Read: ‘Farmers should be trained on marketing and cropping patterns’

As a result, trained professionals and management experts can better serve this niche market in the agriculture business and management. FABM alumni from IIM-A are leading a number of agro-business enterprises and startups.

‘Although agriculture’s share declines, it remains a strong fulcrum around which balanced growth of industry and services must take shape,’ Deodhar added.

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