Food and agriculture sector in developing countries including Sri Lanka is getting transformed with emergence of new technologies and markets. This is providing both opportunities and challenges to various stakeholders of this critical sector of the economy. In the 21st century, agriculture continues to be a fundamental instrument for sustainable development and poverty reduction. Agriculture still comprises a significant share of overall growth and household income, and provides essential food security, in many of the poorest countries, a fact amplified by the recent food price crisis.
IIM Lucknow today concluded training cum study visit programme on Innovation in Agriculture and Agribusiness for participants from Sri Lanka. This programme had been sponsored by Director General of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. This programme was designed to develop the necessary understanding, skills and attitudes for delivering sustainable development in the agriculture, food and agribusiness sector. This programme focussed on capacity building of the participants, who were endowed with the responsibility of setting up platforms for agriculture and agribusiness development. The objectives were as below:
– Orient programme participants on existing institutions and governance systems in food and agriculture;
– Disseminate knowledge about successful and innovative models in agriculture and agribusiness;
– Share practical knowledge and experience with the participants
The program was conducted through an appropriate mix of case studies, presentations, exercises, field visits and class-room interactions. The whole programme comprised of three modules as follows:
– Module 1: Introduction to Agriculture and Agribusiness Policies, Programmes, Schemes, Projects and Institutions
– Module 2: Strategic Issues and Innovative Models for Agriculture and Food and Agribusiness Management
– Module 3: Field Exposure Visits, comprising of following two visits:
First Field Visit – Visit to Local Institutions and Government Department
Second Field Visit – Local Innovate Agriculture Farm
There were 14 participants in all. All 14 participants were Agricultural Instructors and have obtained Agriculture Diploma (2 year) professional qualification. There was a mix of senior officers as well as junior officers. Each one of them has been assigned certain numbers of farm families (not commercial level) and they have to & Plan, Organise, Implement, Monitor & Evaluate ongoing agricultural production programs with them. Some of them act as Subject Matter Officers as well. Department of Agriculture (DOA) has appointed them in different districts to deal with major crops like Paddy, Field crops, Fruits, Vegetable etc. & other income generation programs. They mainly disseminate agricultural technologies to farmers & farm families to improve productivity of crops grown in their areas.
The programme directors for the said programme for IIM Lucknow were Prof. Jabir Ali and Prof. Sushil Kumar.