India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the association for India’s pulses trade and industry has recently announced an Advisory Committee with experts from Indian agriculture sector to further, enhance its standing as India’s leading think tank and knowledge hub on the pulses and grains industry.
According to IPGA, the Advisory Committee would play the role of guide, mentor, and advisor to the IPGA Management. The objective behind setting up this five-member committee is to help the IPGA Management gain further insights and understanding into the pulses sector, provide better support to its stakeholders, and provide more informed, nuanced, and effective policy inputs and recommendations to the government.
The Advisory Committee comprises of the following members:
- Ashish Bahuguna – Public Interest Director, Board of National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX); Former Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India; Former Chairperson, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
- Dr Jeet Singh Sandhu – renowned agricultural scientist and Vice-Chancellor, Sri Karan Narendra Agriculture University, Jobner Jaipur, Rajasthan.
- Dr Narendra Pratap Singh – Director, (ICAR) Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur and President, Indian Society of Pulses Research and Development, IIPR
- Yogesh Thorat – Managing Director, MAHA Farmers Producers Company (MAHAFPC).
- Aashish Kasad – Chartered Accountant and Partner with a Big4, Indian Tax and Regulations Expert, Former Lead Partner to Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of IPGA Advisory Committee, Jitu Bheda, Chairman, IPGA said, “IPGA now has an Advisory Committee with industry domain experts. While extending warm welcome to them, we look forward to their guidance and meaningful interactions to craft a collaborative path forward with our key stakeholders.”
Bimal Kothari, Vice President, IPGA, said, “With the vast experience and domain expertise of our Advisory Committee, we are sure that we will take IPGA into a different league in the next few years. We look forward to the guidance of these distinguished experts in helping our stakeholders make their businesses more sustainable, improving our interaction with the government over policymaking, and addressing long term issues of the sector through policy recommendations.”
Speaking on the occasion, Ashish Bahuguna said, “It is important that together, we figure out the issues in each and every process in the sector. To get more focus on what we are trying to push through, we must break it down to the detail. As an association, then we will be able to convey better what we want the government or our stakeholders to do.”
Dr Jeet Singh Sandhu said, “The markets are largely fine, and prices are also improving, but we have a lot to do in the technology area. Also, we do have great success stories in terms of certain pulses production growth, which need to be highlighted. I think at IPGA we can take up these and many other things, and I am looking forward to taking these up on the committee’s agenda.”
Dr Narendra Pratap Singh said, “With the new farm laws, there is going to be a better flow of technology, new players will join in, and they will help in improving conditions in the sector. IPGA can certainly play a role in supporting its stakeholders through these changes and I am happy to be a part of the Advisory Committee which will be guiding it.”
Yogesh Thorat said, “I am thankful to IPGA for representing farmers on the Advisory Committee. It is a proud moment for the farmers, producer’ organisations as well. IPGA has CSR initiatives as well as a good member base, then I think if there are opportunities of partnership or joint ventures or integrated value chain development, then that is one of the areas wherein IPGA can take lead.”
Aashish Kasad said, “There is so much IPGA can do in terms of demand creation and demand fulfilment. We can do a lot in the areas of processing, innovation and R&D boost to nutrition via pulses. IPGA can tie-up with companies who are operating in these areas, as well as push government to give better incentives and facilities for these things, especially innovation and R&D.”
Pravin Dongre, Founder-Director, IPGA summing up the meeting, said, “With the new agricultural reforms enacted in 2020, we are looking towards the new Advisory Committee to throw some light on the emerging landscape and changes which will be ushered by them. The insights gained from the wisdom and experience of the committee will certainly help us advise and support our members and stakeholders in navigating these reforms, which if implemented well, can make agriculture a major contributor to India’s GDP and growth.”