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Speakers

Former Chairman, Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission
Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi
Former Secretary Food & Agriculture, GoI
Editor, The India Forum & Founder-Trustee, Vichar Trust
Moderator

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 6 Sep 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
View Map

Contact

+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

The recent proposal by the current government to reform agricultural markets through three controversial farm laws, the farmer protests that ensued, and the ultimate repeal of these laws has raised questions on what a desired policy on agricultural markets should be.

Providing farmers access to agricultural markets in a mode that benefits both farmer and consumer has proven elusive. At one end is the mode adopted by the farm laws, a privatisation of agricultural markets by offering space and incentives for private corporate investment, creating a fear that this will lead to profit-grabbing corporates who exploit both farmers and consumers. The demand of the farmer protests for strong state intervention guaranteeing minimum-support-prices and purchase commitments has been criticised as creating market inefficiencies, overlooks structural problems and inconsistencies in the current mandi system, and will also create problems for India in abiding to commitments made to WTO rules. A middle ground of reform based on a structure of cooperatives, as was done for the dairy industry, has received insufficient attention.

An often-overlooked issue is that the word ‘farmer’ covers a diverse and complex set of situations. The protest movement of the last year cannot be considered representative of all farmers: it was largely confined to farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh, and was dominated by the mid-level farmer. The debate overlooks the fact that most agricultural holdings in India are termed as ‘marginal’, below five acres in size, leading to both inefficiencies and exploitation in agricultural markets under current conditions.

In this session, Sudha Narayanan, T. Nandakumar and Prakash Kammardi will engage in a discussion, moderated by C. Rammanohar Reddy, in which they will seek to identify and reflect on, the vision and structure of a sensible policy on agricultural markets in India.

Speakers

Prakash Kammardi

Former Chairman, Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission

Dr. Prakash Kammardi was Chairman of the Karnataka Agricultural Prices Commission, Govt. of Karnataka, from 2014 to 2019. KAPC is an advisory body working on stable markets and remunerative prices to farmer producers to get them predictable income, and conducts research, policy studies, and workshops on this subject, producing many policy reports and booklets, many through prestigious institutions such as Indian Statistical Institute, National Law School, and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research.

Dr. Kammardi has been Professor and Head, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru for thirty years, conducting teaching, research, and guiding post graduate students.

He holds a PhD in Food and Agricultural Marketing Management, University of Mysore and has completed post-doctoral research in Biodiversity and Economics for Conservation from University of Bonn, Germany.

He has edited newsletters on biodiversity, indigenous knowledge, grassroots innovations, and sustainable technologies and served as an Advisory Team Member of Honey Bee, a quarterly newsletter on grassroots innovators published from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.

Sudha Narayanan

Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi

Dr. Sudha Narayanan is a Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), New Delhi. Her research interests straddle agriculture, food and nutrition policy, and human development in India. She is particularly interested in survey-based research using micro-econometric approaches to understand broader questions of agrarian change and state delivery systems for nutrition security. She holds a PhD in agricultural economics from Cornell University and MPhil and M.A. degrees in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, India.

Her current projects focus on agricultural value chains in India and Bangladesh, agritech interventions and farmer producer organizations in India.

Dr. Narayanan’s academic work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals. She has also written for popular dailies such as Mint, The Hindu, Business Line and the Economic Times and has featured in global media outlets such as The Washington Post, BBC World, and Deutsche Welle.

In the past, she has worked with the Institute of Economic Growth in India, Cornell University, and the Right to Food Campaign in India, where she provided research support to the Commissioners appointed by the Supreme Court of India to monitor the implementation of orders issued in connection with the Right to Food case.

T. Nanda Kumar

Former Secretary Food & Agriculture, GoI

T. Nanda Kumar joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1972. His work experience of 44 years includes Urban Development, Commerce and Industry, International Trade, Textiles & Natural Fibres, Food, Agriculture & Cooperation, and Disaster management.

He has served as Chairman, Spices Board and Joint Secretary Textiles in charge of Policy. He was Food Secretary, Government of India, from 2006-08; Secretary (Agriculture and Co-operation) from 2008-10; Member of National Disaster Management Authority, 2010-14; and Chairman National Dairy Development Board 2014-2016. He was concurrently Chairman Mother Dairy Fruits & Vegetables, Indian Immunologicals Ltd , IDMC Ltd and Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA).

He has been a senior Research Fellow at ICRIER 2017-19, and is currently affiliated with International Food Policy Research Institute, Food & Land Use Coalition, and World Resources Institute. He writes for major newspapers on agri-food matters

C. Rammanohar Reddy

Editor, The India Forum & Founder-Trustee, Vichar Trust

C. Rammanohar Reddy is currently Editor of ‘The India Forum’. He holds a post-graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta and has an MPhil and PhD in Economics from the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  He has been in journalism since the late 1980s. He has worked with ‘Deccan Herald’, Bangalore, and ‘The Hindu’, Chennai. He was Editor of the ‘Economic & Political Weekly’ between 2004 and 2016, and since 2019 has been with ‘The India Forum’. He is one of the founder-trustees of Vichar Trust which publishes ‘The India Forum’. He co-edited with MV Ramana ‘Prisoners of the Nuclear Dream‘ (Orient Longman, 2004) and is the author of ‘Demonetisation and Black Money’ (Orient BlackSwan, 2017)