Contract farming has been receiving increasing attention from agribusiness firms as well as the government for more than a decade now. While agribusiness firms view it as a tool for managing raw materials, the government considers it as an avenue to develop markets, transfer technology, provide inputs including credit, etc. to small farmers. A large number of agribusiness firms have undertaken contract farming for a number of agricultural and horticultural crops/produce. While some of them are working smoothly, others have experienced certain problems because of improper design or ineffective implementation. In some cases, the participating farmers are not happy and in some other cases, firms have had bad experience. With the multi-brand retail trade being opened to 51% FDI in late 2012 by the Government of India and the presence of wholesale cash and carry players including those with 100% FDI since the late 1990s, contract farming is going to become an even more relevant mechanism as large global supermarkets may like to procure quality farm produce directly from farmers under contracts to achieve quality and cost advantages in the absence of corporate farming option and poorly performing open markets for such produce. Already, domestic supermarkets have been using some variants of contract farming, besides direct purchase, in procuring fruits and vegetables from farmers for almost a decade now.
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad had conducted studies on contract farming and fresh food supermarkets to document the experiences of firms and farmers. This programme is an effort to share those experiences with the executives associated with contract farming and procurement activity. The objective is to develop a broader understanding of the concept and develop skills in designing and implementing contract farming programmes on a sustainable basis.
To develop understanding of contract farming, its rationale, and management issues
To develop skills in designing contracts and implementation strategies
To develop skills in operational management of contract farming programmes and parties
To expose participants to the policy environment concerned with procurement of agricultural commodities and contract farming
Concept and rationale of contract farming
Contract farming models (organisation)
Strategy and implementation issues
Quality monitoring and delivery
Quantity and pricing issues
Designing contracts and policy experiments
Innovations in contract coordination
The programme will discuss these aspects in the context of various farm products including fresh fruits and vegetables and organic products.
Procurement managers of food and agro-processing companies/ agencies in public and private sectors
Professionals in charge of contract farming activities in organisations
Officials from the departments of agriculture/agricultural marketing of union and state governments
Personnel from export houses, banks, NGOs, and other agencies dealing with agricultural commodities, processed products, and agricultural inputs
The pedagogy will include lectures, cases, case studies, group discussion, role plays, exercises, and also possibly a short field exposure.