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International Conference on Agribusiness in Emerging Economies organized at TERI SAS

 New Delhi, January 4, 2018: Echoing the common objective to achieve the twin challenges of food security and integration of supply chains with global food markets in light of the burgeoning open international markets, leading experts, policymakers and CEO’s in the area of Agribusiness and the allied supply chains in developed and emerging economies came together to explore the challenges in the development and harnessing opportunities to optimize inclusive agribusiness to achieve sustainable transformation that changes rural demographics, migration, merging globalization of agri-markets to mitigate food security and adapt to climate change impacts.

Hosted by the TERI School of Advanced Studies, the two-day International Conference was in collaboration with Whitman School of Management, the South Asia Centre at Syracuse University (USA) and Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies (JADEE).

The conference had a mix of researchers, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders from around the world who presented and shared their original research and expertise on agribusiness in the developing and emerging economies. The conference covered a broad spectrum of relevant themes, methodologies, and research approaches including empirical, conceptual, review and case studies. Over 230 participants from India, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, Nepal, Nigeria, Mexico, United States of America, Uganda, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Iran attended the conference. The conference was a great platform to showcase work in the field of agribusiness.

The conference was inaugurated by Dr Suresh Pal, Director ICAR, Mr Kamal Singh, Executive Director UN Global Compact, along with Mr. Ravi Shankar, Chief Operating Officer of Amul Dairy, Mr Ashok Chawla, Chancellor TERI SAS, Dr. Leena Srivastava, Vice-Chancellor, TERI SASCo-Chairs of the conference Dr. Sapna A. Narula; Associate Professor; TERI SAS and Dr. S.P. Raj; Distinguished Professor at the Whitman School.

Introducing the conference to the audience Dr. Leena Srivastava informed that over 120 papers were presented under twelve themes which were totally in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) suggested by the United Nations. “As the world faces challenges such as global malnutrition, climate change and agricultural productivity, food security, conservation and use of resources, developing sustainable agricultural systems and livelihoods etc., augmenting agri-business will open new vistas for growth and development that will show a visible improvement in the rural and agrarian economy of India.”

In his presidential address, Mr. Ashok Chawla congratulated TERI SAS team for organizing this event on a very contemporary topic and said that almost all issues related to agribusiness were being covered in the conference agenda. He hoped that the deliberations of the conference would bring out important policy and research implications for both policy makers and researchers.

Dr. Sapna A. Narula in her address said that “This conference aims at creating a platform to bring together global and national scholars, academicians, policymakers and representatives from the industry for deliberating on ways for improvement of growth and productivity of agribusiness in India, especially looking at food and nutritional security, sustainable practices to combat climate change, rural development and livelihoods, agribusiness development through restoration of degraded mined out areas in coal mining sector, development of eco-parks and eco-tourism etc., that can be major contributor towards strengthening the overall socio-economic fabric of India which has approximately 56.6% of the population (as per 2011 census) dependent on agriculture and allied activities.”

Dr. S.P. Raj while speaking on the marketing, distribution and retailing in Agribusiness emphasized that “The companies in the agribusiness sector have a big role to play in the achieving the SDGs through emerging strategic corporate social responsibility in agribusiness and addressing best practices for sustainability in agribusiness supply chain by adopting business models through which they can promote a sustainable environment, peoples livelihoods while earning profit.”

At the conference a booklet on ‘Eco Restoration and Sustainable Livelihoods” first-of-its-kind compendium of success stories on a major project in Muridiah area of Dhanbad (Jharkhand) namely “Sustainable Livelihood Activities On Reclaimed Open Cast Coal Mines: A Technology Enabled Integrated Approach  was unveiled. The project is a joint initiative of TERI SAS with support from Bharat Cooking Coal Ltd. (BCCL) and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDI), Ranchi where local communities were relocated after restoration of degraded landscapes and open cast coal mines, and further developing entrepreneurial and vocational skills amongst members of local self-help groups (SHGS) for community (with a focus on women), empowerment through access to new economic opportunities.

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