Partnering for Rural Prosperity

Farmers as Owners

Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

(May 17, 2013)




10:15am -11:15am

Inaugural Session

Welcome Address: Pramod Singh, Director, Image Makers

Background to the Conference: L.P. Semwal, Director, SJS, and Edwin Willemsen, Director, FFT, The Netherlands

Special Address: Sanjeev Chopra, Mission Director & Joint Secretary (NHM & NMMI), Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India

Special Address: Alok Jain, Chairman, Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited and Chief Investment Commissioner, Uttarakhand

Inaugural Address: Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources, Shri Harish Rawat,

Vote of thanks: Rajiv Tikoo, Director, OneWorld

11:15am – 11:30am


11: 30 am-12:30pm

Session – I

Farmers as Owners: a social business approach to agri-business (how small producers can jointly own the value chain)

The session will focus on the rationale for setting up farmer trusts, how to put together financial and technical resources, how to get storage and market linkages, an insight into profit potential based on a sound business model, and finally how to plan repayment of investment and transfer of ownership of the enterprise.

This session will also add experiential knowledge from the SJS initiative related to the apple growers. It will also throw light on how such collaboration may work better than the cooperative model as well as Self Help Groups, as it has more experts and professionals involved in it than the cooperatives and provides access to much bigger loans and credit that an SHG.



  • Krishan Bir Chaudhary, President, Bharatiya Krishak Samaj
  • Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, Former Income Tax Commissioner
  • Avinash Kishore, Senior Post-Doctoral Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute or IFPRI
  • Joginder Rana- Farmer Director, FFT Himalyan Fresh Produce
  • Pamela Philipose, Director, Women’s Feature Service (Moderator)
  • Q/A


12:30 pm – 1:30pm

Session – II

Partnerships with businesses for prosperity: towards shared business benefits in value chain a win-win situation

The session will focus on the role of corporate business partners, getting in place a  sound business model, value-add products, supply chain management, market linkages etc. Special emphasis will be on how a corporate business partner aligns its engagement along with its CSR policy.


It also talks about the fact that farmers and their cooperatives will now have permanent linkages with companies thereby ensuring that the farmers have dependable revenue streams.


  • BB Singh, GM, Business Development, Tata Chemicals
  • Manoj Singh, MD, Chandel Agritech Solutions
  • Ashmeet Kapoor, Founder & CEO, ‘I Say Organic’
  • Vikram Singh – Senior Executive, SJS/ Amar Singh Kafola, Farmer Director, Kincaid
  • Rakesh Sood, OneWorld (Moderator)
  • Q/A

1:30 pm –2:30pm


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Session – III

Investment in agri value chain with business rigour by active involvement of farmers (approach for smart investment in agriculture for structured solutions)

The session will focus on the role of financial institutions in scrutinising business models, structuring of loans, transfer of ownership to farmers or farmer bodies in due course, ensuring that proper governance structures are in place, insurance, advisories on future trading etc.



  • P.V. Surya Kumar, CGM-in-Charge, NABARD, Delhi
  • DSK Rao, Director, Agribusiness Knowledge Exchange
  • Satya Chakrapani, MD/CEO, Shikhar Micro-finance
  • L.P. Semwal, Director, SJS / Alfred, Director, SHGW, The Netherlands/Ms Tarini, Manager, Inclusive Business, SJS/ Jagmohan Singh, Farmer Director, FFTH
  • Bijoy Patro – Head, Special Projects, OneWorld (Moderator)
  • Q/A


3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Session – IV

Organising farmers and motivating all players to understand the financial as well social returns on investment in agriculture sector to secure foods and farmers’ future.


The session will analyse the state of affairs of farmers and why govt schemes, cooperatives and self-help groups have not ameliorated their lot and the need for a model of  setting-up profitable agro-business enterprises where farmers, supported by NGOs, corporates and financial institutions, become owners over a period of time.



  • Gurvinder Singh Bhatia, Head (Skill Development), Gramin Vikas Trust
  • Ajay Tripathi, Associate Director, Kheti Virasat Mission
  • Pan Singh Rana, Farmer Director, Bavar Silgaon/ Bharat Ram Semwal, Member, SJS
  • Aditi Dayal, Head, Research & Knowledge, OneWorld (Moderator)
  • Q/ A

4:30 pm –4:45pm


4:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Valedictory Session

Summing up: Shantanu Gupta, Founder, YUVA (Moderator)

Valedictory Address: Rajendra Kumar Tiwari, MD, National Horticulture Board

Vote of thanks: Pramod Singh, Director, Image Makers

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India’s Minister for Water Resources, Harish Rawat, lauds the innovative apple project of Uttarakhand, a model that has freed small apple farmers from the clutches of middlemen besides introducing business acumen in them.
Important links:
Image Makers
OneWorld South Asia Group of Websites