Connecting the dots in the field of agriculture so as to establish an integrated value chain for any commodity opens up a tremendous opportunity for young entrepreneurs. 140 million farming households are waiting to get connected to 240 million consuming households which was so far not possible without a long chain of intermediaries making disjointed and distorted value chains highly inefficient to both, the farmers as well as consumers. Extensive use of IT now opens up innumerable opportunities for startups connecting a group of farmers to consumers, processors, exporters and organised retailers. Public Private Partnerships connecting organised groups of farmers to the corporate players with the facilitation of the government are also opening up new avenues for those who could manage such platforms. Agrarian distress could be a thing of past if young entrepreneurs take up agri-business start-ups as a sunrise sector.
Master's in Development Studies, University of Bath, UK; PhD in Physics, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Formerly, Researcher in Nuclear Physics, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. 1982, joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS); has occupied various senior positions in the state of Maharashtra, mostly linked to the field of Agriculture & Cooperation, including 7 years as Agriculture Commissioner; 6 years as Commissioner and Secretary, Cooperatives; Director-General, special project tackling suicide among farmers, Vidarbha; Principal Secretary and then Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture, responsible for attracting an investment of US$ 1 billion a year for the next five years in the State of Maharashtra in the field of integrated value chains. Extensive experience working on various projects funded by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Fund for Agriculture Development. Interests: establishing a public-private partnership framework for integrated value chains. All are welcome to attend!!!