Location Swissnex India, Bengaluru.
Organizers Swissnex India and Institute of Global Studies, EPFL
Students from the Institute of Area and Global Studies, EPFL are visiting India as part of their summer school program. The purpose of the visit is to connect with Indian organizations with similar interests. On August 26, swissnex India will host the delegation at its premises.
Talks and panel discussion will be organized on the topic of ‘Grow in India: Agricultural Production and Marketing in Karnataka’.
Agricultural has been focal point of my master studies at Technical University of Denmark. During my project ‘Zero Cost MBA(Global Manager for 21st Century)’, I spent considerable amount of time in understanding this sector more deeply. I advised NGO’s in Sierra Leone and a firm in Mexico due to my close association with this sector.When I got opportunity to participate in a talk at Swissnex India on Agriculture, I modify my time-table to not miss this wonderful session.
Swissnex India chief Dr. Balz Strasser, who himself has PhD in Agricultural field described the importance of agricultural sector. He then, introduced moderator of event Dr. Christine Lutringer. She introduced about farming practices and introduced speakers.
First speaker Dr. Arshiya Bose started the talk with some statistics of India becoming a 7th highest coffee producer of the world. She also highlighted how coffee from Ethiopia first reached Turkey, and from there they have been brought to India. She highlight role of markets and how beautiful rain forest in some countries were clear to plant coffee. There is always trade off between type of coffee vs. Yielding amount per hectare.
Her firm Black Baza coffee is working towards conservation of bio-diversity in agreement with farmers.
Second speaker, Dr. Menon has given presentation about ‘Agricultural Production and Marketing in Karnataka’. In early part of his presentation, he highlighted markets and growth of organic farming/organic products in India. Organic agriculture is an important intervention area, as it is perfectly compatible with idea of carbon sink. It can reduce footprint of climate change and also a healthy food in need of time.
In India, farmers are risk averse and they may not understand logic of climate change directly. Speaking in terms of economic, they will consider a new idea. He highlighted case of Sikkim(a state in north-eastern part of India), and its achievement of 100% organic farming through consistent efforts over past few years.
He went on in his presentation about Agricultural climatic zones of Karnataka. He highlighted small holding of farmers in India and effort by Indian government to change this situation. Government of India is allowing small farmers to float a combined entity with equal holding by every farmer.
Back on the organic farming, many residential complexes in bengaluru are growing organic food. Fruits grown by organic methods can avoid chemicals during ripening process. This entire sector is growing year after year and present a huge opportunity for rural enterprises.
After these 2 wonderful talks, event moved to panel discussion format with audience asking questions from 3 speakers (including Prof. Kannan),moderated by Prof.
Agricultural sector has been one of my interest area from technical point of view. Today, I got to learn much more towards organic farming. Hope to attend more such events in future.
(Based on personal experiences. Need not to be true to the minute details)
Dr. Arshiya Bose is a post-doc researcher at Ecosystem Management Group of ETH Zurich. She has completed her PhD on market-based approaches to biodiversity conservation from the University of Cambridge. Soon after she founded Blackbaza Coffee Co. which is a social and conservation enterprise that aims to support coffee growers in India to follow biodiversity-friendly farming practices.
Mr. Manoj Kumar Menon is the head of International Competence Centre for Organic Agriculture (ICCOA), Bangalore, India since 2004. He leads ICCOA team to work closely with Central and State govt.’s in India in a wide range of programs from policy formulations to project management. Manoj has 22 years of experiences in working in many agri-horticultural projects, organic agriculture, sustainability, rural livelihood, bio-villages.
Dr. Christine Lutringer is researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Area and Global Studies (IAGS) – College of Humanities.Her publications are related to social movements in India, agricultural and food policies, urban and environmental governance, and international migrations in Asia.At IAGS, she is in charge of courses and modules on contemporary India. She lectures in the Minor in Area and Cultural Studies (MACS), a programme offered by IAGS to EPFL Master students, and in the EPFL human and social science programme. Christine Lutringer is responsible for the Summer School organized in Bangalore for the Minor in Area and Cultural Studies. With Isabelle Dufour, independent producer and journalist at the Swiss National Television, she coordinates the realization of short videos on environmental issues in India. Christine Lutringer is also the co-convenor of the Working Group “Global Asia” established within the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI).
– Swissnex India – Website
– Institute of Global Studies, EPFL
The Institute for Area and Global Studies (IAGS) is affiliated with the College of Humanities. Its research and teaching activities take root in local realities across diverse contexts. They contribute to bring forward the socio-cultural, political and economic dimension at EPFL. The Institute’s main objective is to prepare students to professionally engage with in an emerging country, by providing them with tools to better understand non-Western societies and cultures.For further details, please click here.