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  • India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA) successfully hosts the inaugural webinar of ‘THE IPGA KNOWLEDGE SERIES’

    Published on July 16, 2020

    by Sachin Murdeshwar

    Mumbai: India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the nodal body for India’s pulses trade and industry, successfully hosted the first webinar of ‘THE KNOWLEDGE SERIES’ focused on the path-breaking reforms announced by the Indian Government in the agri-marketing space and their impact on Domestic Trade, Agri-Production, Market Dynamics, Investments and Supply Chain. The webinar generated a huge response with over 900 participants from more than 30 countries attending webinar.


    The panel boasted of Senior Bureaucrats like Dr. Ashok Dalwai, CEO – NRAA & Chairman of Inter-Ministerial Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income and Ms. Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution as well as industry stalwarts and domain experts like Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh, Addl. Managing Director – NAFED; Mr. Rajnikant Rai, Divisional Chief Executive – ITC Agri-Business; Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Executive Chairman – Rabo Equity Advisors; Mr. Parag Gadre, CEO – ETG India; Mr. Yogesh Thorat, Managing Director – Maha Farmers Producers Company Ltd. (MAHAFPC). The webinar was moderated by Mr. G Chandrashekhar, noted Economist, Senior Editor, Policy Commentator and Agri-business Specialist.   


    Mr. Jitu Bheda, Chairman – IPGA, said, “The IPGA Knowledge Series”, has followed in the footsteps of The Pulses Conclave in terms of showcasing world-class experts, delivering relevant and informative content and attracting a huge audience. The Series is IPGA’s next step towards being recognised as the knowledge hub of the pulses sector.”


    Mr. Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman – IPGA said, “The IPGA Management has always looked for new initiatives to support and reach-out to its members as well as all stakeholders. The IPGA KNOWLEDGE SERIES will take up topics that concern all stakeholders and each topic is discussed in-depth by the best domain experts available across the world. The association will always stand by the industry and its members as we all prepare to change, adapt, collaborate and sustain together.”


    Mr. Pravin Dongre, Founder Director – IPGA said, “The domain experts in the panel analysed the impact of these reforms and also discussed the various opportunities that these reforms make available for all the stakeholders in the value chain. We are delighted to receive tremendous response from all the participants across countries. The feedback has been extremely encouraging and this webinar has definitely set the tone for the webinars in the following months.”


    Dr. Ashok Dalwai, Chief Executive Officer – National Rainfed Area Authority and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income highlighted that “Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs) would be the new aggregation platforms where the farmers would have access to processing facilities. Market reforms along with Aatmanirbhar Bharat will help us strengthen the marketing forces in the country and have a positive impact on domestic trade. We need to build robust supply chains and integrate them into the global supply chains.”


    Ms. Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary – Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said, “Today, India is self-sufficient in most of the agri-commodities and foods. As a result, we have experienced more episodes of excess production over demand rather than supply shortages. Attracting organised sector into agriculture sector for price stabilisation, investments in cold storages, modernisation of food supply chains was one of the key reasons to exempt agri food commodities from restrictive provisions of the EC Act. Our aim is to remove the fear of excessive regulatory interferences which can lead to freedom to produce, hold, move, distribute, supply which will harness economies of scale, attract private sector and FDI.”


    Mr. Sunil Kumar Singh, Additional Managing Director – NAFED commented that “NAFED will certainly work on the recommendations regarding APMCs and monetisation of the existing structures of the APMCs. Old APMCs have huge asset value. One such APMC monetisation can bring in three such structures of holistic APMCs. It is a huge opportunity.”


    Mr. Rajnikant Rai, Divisional Chief Executive – ITC Agri-Business said, “The one problem private sector is facing in getting investments and building a competitive value chain is government intervention in price management. The new ordinances have opened the market but the biggest hindrance to trade and investment in the long run is the price control by the government. National policy on agriculture, whether marketing or sourcing, has to be creative, so that small hindrances get eliminated.”            


    Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Executive Chairman – Rabo Equity Advisors, while reiterating on FDI in agri sector said “Historically in the last 10 years, 4 – 5% of total FDI has been in the agriculture sector which I am confident will increase to 9 – 10 % in the next couple of years basis the initiatives we are taking and the opportunities opening up in this sector. Even 10 – 12% is doable as we are well on track towards doubling farmer’s income.” 


    Mr. Parag Gadre, CEO – ETG India explained “We as a trader, marketer or buyer will have multiple choices to source our raw material requirements. Corporates like us are looking forward to the new opportunities coming our way. We have been confined to a particular space for long and there’s a lot of play across the value chain. The reforms will facilitate the same for sure.”



    Mr. Yogesh Thorat, Managing Director – Maha Farmers Producers Company Ltd. (MAHAFPC) giving an insight into the impact on farmers said, “The Ordinances have unlocked opportunities for all the stakeholders in the agriculture sector. In the era of sustainable agriculture development, public private partnership is the way forward for the prosperity of the farmers.”


    Mr. G Chandrashekhar, Moderator for the webinar, in his summation said, “Post COVID many countries around the world are going to start practising protectionism and PM Narendra Modi has spoken about becoming Aatmanirbhar that is self-reliant. The policies are going to be significantly welfare oriented with an increased emphasis on food security & nutrition particularly with focus on local production. The way forward is going to be in aligning with global value chains, faster adoption of technology, mechanisation in agriculture, digitisation, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, block chain technology in import and export activities. For consumers our expectation is that they will certainly demand health foods as they are adopting healthy lifestyles hence critical for food processing.


    IPGA will be hosting the next webinar in THE IPGA KNOWLEDGE SERIES on August 14th and the topic for the same will be announced soon.


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