Dr. Prasun Kumar Das, an Indian citizen is appointed as the new APRACA project managerwho assumes office to manage and coordinate the implementation of the four-year (March 2014-February 2018)IFAD-supported large grant project No.2000000108on“Documenting Global Best Practices on Sustainable Models of Pro-Poor Rural Financial Services in Developing Countries” which will cover five countries like, People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, India, Philippines and Thailand.
Dr. Prasunearned his doctor of philosophy (PhD) in Agricultural Sciences (Agronomy) from the state Agriculture University of West Bengal (BCKVV), India in April 1993. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in Financial Management from Jadavpur University, India. Dr. Das admitted as Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (CAIIB), Mumbai, India in 2002. The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) conferred the most prestigious scholarship C H Bhaba Scholarship and Fellowship to Dr. Prasun Kumar Das in 2005 to recognize his research work on ‘Business models to augment agriculture finance by the commercial banks in India’. Dr. Das is also a recipient of the Post-doctoral fellowship from Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF), Mumbai in 2008 to conduct research on ‘Role of business correspondents/facilitators in financial inclusion’.
Dr. Das is holding honorary membership in various International Networks and Associations including UN Microfinance Community. He is a life member of Indian Institute of Banking and Finance, Indian Society of Agronomy, International Society for Agricultural Banking etc. Dr. Prasun published 15 research papers in peer reviewed journals of international repute apart from book chapters and commissioned reports in the area of agriculture finance, value chain finance, rural finance and financial inclusion. Dr. Das is also advisor to many of the Government and Non-Government bodies dealing with rural development. He is a recognized leader in the area of rural and agriculture banking in south and south-east Asia.
Prior to thisassignment, Dr. Prasun was the Research Director of LANSA (Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia) which is a multi-country and multi-stakeholder project funded by Department for International Development (DFID), Government of UK. He worked with public sector commercial bank for more than 17 years and engaged in developing agriculture and rural finance. While working as ‘Visiting Expert’for Food & Agriculture Organizations of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome office Dr. Das in this developed a training module on agriculture value chain finance.
Dr. Das’s engagement with the current IFAD supported project and APRACA Network in general will provide a new perspective in developing the research based documents on global best practices on sustainable rural finance which will help the capacity building process of the member institutions in rural finance.Apart from this, He will facilitate the close collaboration with the concerned ministries and agencies, and rural finance practitioners and funders in the 5 focus countries (P. R. China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, & Thailand). This facilitation will also help APRACA to link with all ongoing IFAD projects in the countries with a rural finance component as part of a larger pool for review.