Even after decreased contribution to GDP, agriculture still continues as a major livelihood provider around the globe, especially in the developing world; and hence responsible for economic growth and social transformation. Mammoth work has been done in agriculture in the recent years on the part of the industry, NGOs, CGIAR bodies and institutions, supported by the Government and international organisations to transform the agriculture and allied sectors. The most significant development in the last one decade has been the emergence of large number of start-ups in food and agriculture, across the value chain spectrum, completing the chain from farm to fork. In India, the Government schemes like ACABC, Startup India, Standup India, Skilled India and launch of MUDRA Bank and such other initiatives have accelerated the value creation and entrepreneurship activities in the farm sector and connected the same to the markets and the consumers through innovative agribusiness models.
Connecting farmers effectively with trade, markets and value added activity holds the key to their prosperity. In this context, Government of India has launched eNAM to help in marketing and also the program towards doubling farmers incomes by 2022. There is need for understanding and adopting successful global models and also fostering farmer-industry-institution partnerships towards helping farmers gradually transforming from farmer to farm entrepreneurs. The 11th Global Agriculture Summit 2018 aims to provide the platform towards facilitating farmers connect with the technologies, markets, industry, institutions and the Governmental programs. Indian Council of Food and Agriculture takes the opportunity to discuss the constraints and opportunities for a global momentum towards making agriculture high-tech, market linked and value added for best returns to farmers and to all stake-holders across the food value chain. This may require collective efforts, taking on board the Governments, inter-governmental organisations, trans-national corporations, industry, NGOs, FOs, financial and technology institutions for increased flow of knowledge, technologies, investments and market access. The national governments need to create enabling policy environment for effectively translating the potential of agriculture through agribusiness, and thus empowering farmers. Towards this end, ICFA is bringing together eminent personalities of Indian and global agriculture, food and agribusiness sectors on one platform on the event of 11th Global Agriculture Summit 2018. The experience will be combined with the presentation of 11th Global Leadership Awards and the launch of Agriculture Year Book 2018.
Important individuals and institutions, who played pivotal role in building new faiths and ambitions in agriculture will be acknowledged by the Global Leadership Awards 2018. On this occasion, ICFA and Agriculture Today will also release the Agriculture Year Book 2018 for an exhaustive appraisal of activities in food and agriculture round the year. It is must for everyone anyhow associated with food and agriculture via business, research, academics, media, farming, trade, development, policy making, implementation and any other medium across the globe to participate in this amalgamation of events.
Food and Agriculture sector is undergoing a rapid transformation in India and globally. The role of various stake-holders in driving the growth and value added transformation of farm sector is commendable. The institution of the Agriculture Leadership Awards in 2008 was a significant step in this direction to recognize the contributions of various stake-holders in agriculture. The Awards are given annually in different categories to those individuals and organizations, who have made outstanding contributions in their respective fields. The National Awards Committee is headed by the world renowned agriculture scientist, Prof. MS Swaminathan, with twenty six persons of national eminence as its members. The Leadership Awards shall be presented on 24th October, 2018 in New Delhi.
In order to maintain the sanctity and stature of these Awards thorough screening is done by eminent experts. To make the process more authentic the Awards Committee also seeks informal views from a large number of people related directly or indirectly with agriculture and verify the claims of the applicants from the relevant sources. The selection of awardees is made through a two tier system. The Award Sub-Committees, headed by one member of the National Committee, screens and recommends to the National Committee for finalizing the names. All the applications and nominations received are screened to ensure that they satisfy all the conditions laid down by the Awards Secretariat. These are then put up to the respective Sub Committees. The second stage is the circulation of the entries by the Sub Committees, who evaluate the entries based on agreed parameters and recommend three names for each Award to the National Committee for the final selection. Based on the feedback received, the National Committee will make a list of the winning entries in each category. The high standard set for the Awards in the previous years is maintained. The applicants and sponsors may therefore check the level of contributions made by the winners of previous Agriculture Leadership Awards, before applying or sponsoring nominations.