National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on Monday signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) for setting up a NABARD chair unit at the management institute. The MoU was signed by H R Dave, deputy managing director, NABARD and Professor Ashish Nanda, director, IIM-A in the city, a press release issued by the NABARD said. "The objective of the chair unit is to encourage research in emerging areas such as climate change, rural livelihood, financial inclusion, value chain management, agriculture marketing and financial product development," a press release issued by NABARD said. Speaking on the occasion, Dave said, "As revealed by the recently released findings of the 70th round of National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), agriculture in India is dominated by the presence of small and marginal farmers. The survey also points to high level of dependence among these farmers on non-institutional sources of credit.
It is critical that this vast majority of small farmers find farming lucrative to not only meet the needs of a vast population but to be able to increase their share in the consumer rupee." The partnership with IIM-A, the release added, is yet another attempt of NABARD to enhance the efficiency of supply chains and address the issues of fragmented value chains existing in the country at present. Integrating small and marginal farmers under efficient supply chains and exploring the role of private sector in this regard will also be examined by the NABARD chair professor, the release highlighted. The chair unit, the release noted, is also expected to offer inputs on issues confronting agriculture marketing and suggest innovative models to make farming a more profitable proposition for country's farmers. It is also expected to focus on credit-related issues of farmers and inclusion thereof in the institutional credit fold. Welcoming the collaboration with NABARD, Professor Ashish Nanda emphasized on the need to find solutions for various emerging challenges in the field of agriculture and rural finance through collaborative research.