Dr. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Ayog, Government of India, inaugurated 23rd Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Research Association on Inter- and Intra-Sectoral Dynamics for Transforming Indian Agriculture at ICAR-CIFE, Mumbai on 2nd December, 2015. In his inaugural, Dr. Chand emphasised that the association should serve as a platform for discussing new knowledge in the area and also to identify research priorities based on extreme social relevance. He also stressed that the agriculture sector has many paradoxes and myths which require critical scrutiny so that scientific evidences and practical solutions can be evolved. He added that current sectoral scenario is complex with many new challenges and reality which require new approaches and economic tools with inter-disciplinary support which would help in achieving the national goals.
Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD, Chief Guest of the function urged the delegates to make agricultural economics more broad-based with emphasis on rural development. He highlighted many areas such as IT application in agriculture, conservation of natural resources, agricultural exports, shifting of the small and marginal farmers to other non-farm professions, priorities of investment and land leasing etc. in the sector which require attention of researchers, institutions and policy makers.
Earlier, Dr. Gopal Krishna, Director, ICAR-CIFE welcomed the dignitaries and delegates and said that the conference would provide an excellent opportunity for the researchers to exchange ideas.
In his presidential address, Prof. Chengappa, President, AERA, stated that though the declining agricultural growth is a matter of great concern, there is tremendous transformation happening in the sector which include the shift in demand towards high value commodities and progressive growth in agricultural exports. He expressed that this occasion should be used to build the network among the agricultural economists for agricultural growth.
Later, Dr. P.K.Joshi, Director-South Asia, IFPRI, New Delhi, delivered the presidential address on ‘Pathways to improve food security and reduce poverty in emerging India’ in which he highlighted the challenges such as food and nutritional security, impact of climate change on agricultural production and emphasised that the economic growth should be more inclusive and nutrition sensitive. As a way forward for more inclusive growth, he outlined Food Security Framework with production, availability, access and affordability as core components within a larger circle of policies, institutions, governance, markets and infrastructure, besides best practices from all over the world such as direct cash transfers and transparent e-governance measures.
Dr.M.Krishnan, Head, Social Sciences Division, CIFE and Organising Secretary proposed the vote of thanks. The three day conference is organised by Agricultural Economics Research Association (India) in association with ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai. More than 250 delegates are participating in the conference in which ~176 papers will be presented and deliberated.