Panel Discussions

Development Dialogue

Theme: Emerging Agribusiness Opportunities in Developing Economies: Rise of South Asia Pacific

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) defines agribusiness as “the collective business activities that are performed from farm to fork”. This involves a series of activities that needs to be done efficiently. In India, the sustained efforts of public private partnership have found out the innovative ways to bring the agribusiness sector togrowing path. The investments in agriculture research & innovation, once seen to be a rare phenomenon, isnowbecoming quite common since recent past. Agribusiness firms are bringing innovative solutions to various inherent problems like weather dependence, biological phenomenon, widespread reach, farmers’ literacy, stringent government policies etc. These firms are building market research competencies and coming out with quality products innovation, improving operational efficiency, marketing communication and delivering the values. The new technologies have found applicability in different sectors and have enhanced the performance on several fronts. The increasingly competitive and dynamic world of agribusiness has improved in product and service quality. Branding and brand-equity are becoming more common in this sector.

An esteemed panel discussion will be conducted on ‘Accelerating the growth of Agriculture in SAARC Nations’. The panel discussion is sponsored by The World Bank and will be attended by esteemed panelists from International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group and Ministry of Agriculture (India). The aim is to successfully leverage the potentials of member countries of SAARC towards the development of Agriculture in South Asia and share their lessons on a common platform. This event will help us move closer to the World Bank’s vision of regional integration for maximum benefits.

The Food Dialogue

Theme: Leveraging the Opportunities in Food Business: Harvesting the Potential

India is one of the world’s largest producers as well as consumer offood and related products. The sector plays an important role in growth and development of the economy. Food and food products being the largest consumption category in Indiahave amarket size of USD 181 billion. Domestically, the spending on food and food products amounts to nearly 21% of the gross domestic product of the country and constitutes the largest portion of the Indian consumer spending- more than a 31% share of wallet. Going forward, the Indian domestic food market is expected to grow by nearly 40% of the current market size by 2015, to touch USD 258 billion by 2015.

Food processing industry in India is nowseen as a potential element for driving the rural economy as it brings about the synergy between the consumer, industry and agriculture. The potential of food processing industry is expected to increase farm gate prices, reduce wastages, ensure value addition, promote crop diversification, generate employment opportunities as well as export earnings. However, despite of continual efforts and initiatives of the Government to provide the required stimulus to this sector, processing activities are still at a nascent stage in India with low penetration.

Rapid increase in disposable income in India coupled with changed attitudes towards health, hygiene and taste are the driving forces for the growth in demand for processed food in India. Today, there is higher affordability and greater willingness amongst consumers to pay for standardized modern living. Increasing urbanization, hectic lifestyles, rising number of nuclear families and increasing proportion of working women is leading to an increased demand for convenience. Indian consumers are now diverted to consume brought-into-home food.

Simultaneously, growing brand consciousness, exposure to Western products, introduction of food categories that are new to the Indian palate and new product variants catering to diversified tastes have ensured wider markets for processed food products. All these factors create a strong platform for the accelerated growth of processed foods.

While demand drivers remain strong, supply side issues still pose many challenges. Inflation in food prices in recent months has brought out the fragility of India’s demand-supply balance. Increasing incomes will only fuel higher demand for processed food while further straining the supply.There is a huge room to explore further and venture into this industry.