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AGRI 2021

V P S Arora

V P S Arora, Speaker at Agriculture Conferences
Venkateshwara Group of Institutions, India
Title : Status, Issues, Prospect, and Challenges of Agribusiness in India


Global agriculture is experiencing phenomenal changes due to technological revolution, digital revolution, sprawling urbanization, accelerating growth in middle income groups, fast changing food habits and preferences, the market oscillations, and above all due to climate change and environmental degradation. These changes offer unique challenges and opportunities to transform agriculture to be more productive, economically remunerative, socially equitable and inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.

In India, during last 50 years or so, with the ushering in of the green revolution for grains in mid-1960s, followed by white revolution in milk, yellow in oilseeds, and blue revolution in aquaculture, and rainbow revolution in horticulture sector, overall agricultural and food grain production increased over four fold, several major commodities recorded 4 to 10 fold increases, food grains reaching over 290 MT, horticultural production over 315 MT, and fish production about 12 MT. India thus globally ranked among the top two producers of several major commodities, rendering the country as the second largest agrarian economy in the world.

These developments transformed the country from Ship- to- Mouth status to the status of Right to Food Bill situation; major agricultural/ food exporter; reducing the poverty and hunger levels by 50-70 per cent. Despite the excellent progress, nearly one fourth of world’s hungry and 35-40 per cent undernourished and stunted children have their homes in India.

Another unique feature of India’ agrarian economy is that the country is home to over one-third small and marginal farm holders, with unabating and splitting, the average holding size has reached below one hectare. And these small and marginal farmers, paradoxically comprise vast majority of the country’s hungry and poor who constitute one-fourth of the world’s such deprived people.

Along with technological revolutions in agriculture, farm sector in India experienced high level of commercialization of farm sector. Starting from input manufacturing and supply and production sub-sectors of farm economy, commercialization of high order has entered in marketing and trade, processing and distribution besides exports. Growth in food retailing and e-business in Indian farm sector is unpreceded. Business orientation of agriculture consulting and extension is explicitly evident.

Entrepreneurship development based in agriculture is growing very fast. Digital revolution has also taken deep roots in agriculture. Whereas the share of agriculture in national GDP is consistently declining, the share of agribusiness is consistently growing. It is worth saying that during ongoing pandemic caused by COVID- 19 it is only the agriculture sector of the economy that continued to show positive and impressive growth. Agricultural exports during this period also grew and has been responsible in narrowing down of trade gap.

Increasing agricultural productivity of the small holder farmers, poverty reduction, class and regional equity, and smashing of the epigenetic fixation of undernutrition; however, continue to bother planners and policy makers and thus must be central to the growth,


Dr. V P S Arora, Professor Emeritus and Principal Advisor to Shri Venkateshwara Group of Institutions was working till recently as Professor Emeritus and Advisor, Sharda University, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. He earned his Bachelors’, Masters’ and Doctoral degrees from G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar (Uttarakhand), the first Farm University of India. He also completed Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from a Central University. Dr Arora served Pantnagar University for over 33 years as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Head of Department of Agricultural Economics and Dean College of Agribusiness Management. In Pantnagar University Prof Arora was also tasked with the responsibilities of several administrative positions including Registrar, Coordinator Admissions, Establishment Officer, Chief Vigilance Officer, Chief Personnel Officer, Chief Security Officer, Chief Reception Officer, Director Administration and Director Monitoring. He also chaired the standing statutory committees of the University on Admissions, Examinations, Academic Policies, Negotiations etc.

Dr Arora was the founder Dean of College of Agribusiness Management and its flagship Program of M B A (Agribusiness), first of its kind under the ICAR-SAU system of the country. He successfully undertook international consulting projects of IRRI (Philippines), OECD (France), APO (Japan), FAO (Rome) and ADB (Manila). Dr. Arora has over 47 years of professional experience in academics at reputed national and global institutions of higher learning. Dr Arora served Alemaya/ Haramaya University, Ethiopia as Visiting Professor for a period of four years (2000-02 and 2017-19). Dr Arora also served leading private Universities - Amity University as Dean Academics and Sharda University as Professor Emeritus, Director IQAC and Advisor.

Dr Arora joined Kumaun University (a State University of Uttarakhand) as its Vice Chancellor in 2009 and created number of milestones therein including creation of Directorates of Placement and Counselling, Research and Extension, Information and Communication Technology, and Quality Assurance; introduced semester system at post graduate level, and brought discipline and transparency in academics, examinations, assessment, and administration. He had been Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor of Shri Venkateshwara University Uttar Pradesh, Pro-Chancellor of Venkateshwara Open University, Itanagar, Mentor/ President, Centre for Education Growth and Research, Director, Nainital Bank Limited and Director, Jasmine Mega Structures Private Limited.

Dr Arora has honour of addressing UN University, Tokyo on Agricultural Policies in South Asia, and OECD Member Countries on India’s Agricultural Policies (at OECD, Paris). Dr Arora successfully conducted 13 Research Projects and 7 Consulting Projects, supervised 24 PhD Scholars, authored/ edited / reviewed 10 Books, 21 chapters in Books, and over 100 research papers. He was the Chief Editor of two CEGR Text Books entitled Higher Education: Leadership and Management and Research Methodology.

He served on a number of committees, constituted by the Government of Uttarakhand, UGC, ICAR, AICTE, CII, Professional Societies, and Other Universities. Dr. Arora has been conferred with numerous awards and honours including Dr Rajendra Prasad Award for best original book in Hindi (1994-96), Life Time Achievement Awards (2009 and 2020), Uttarakhand Ratan Award (2011), Higher Education Leadership Award (2016), Outstanding Alumnus Award of Pantnagar University (2020), Outstanding Alumnus Award of College of Agriculture (2019) and Best Paper Awards. He had been the Conference President of Indian Society of Agricultural Marketing (2010), and Conference President of Agricultural Economics Research Association (2013). He has been Vice President (as also on the Editorial Board of journals published thereby) of professional societies like Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Marketing, and Agricultural Economics Research Association.

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