Prasun Kumar Das received his PhD in Agricultural Sciences (Agronomy) with specialization in Post-harvest Management and also holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with specialization in Financial Management. He is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (CAIIB) and Project Management Professional (PMI, USA). As the recipient of the prestigious C H Bhaba Scholarship and Fellowship of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) in 2005, he did a comprehensive study on ‘Business models to augment agriculture finance by the commercial banks in India’. He also received Post-Doctoral fellowship from IIBF in 2008-09 to study Financial Inclusion in Uttar Pradesh-the largest state of India. Apart from the above, Prasun received several fellowships from Indian and International organizations to conduct studies on rural and agricultural finance, agribusiness and value chain development in South Asia.
Prasun is currently serving as the Secretary General of APRACA (Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association) based in Bangkok where he is leading the Secretariat function of the 76 member institutions spread over 21 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to this assignment, he successfully completed his term as the Project Manager in implementing IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) regional project on ‘Rural Finance Best Practices: Documenting and Piloting’ where he was coordinating with 5 country teams (China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand) where he also served as the focal point of contact for technical backstopping with the partner organizations involved in those countries. During this assignment, Prasun was also engaged in policy dialogue with the stakeholders, managing the budgets, grant making and ensure that accountability of the resources being managed and allocated to optimize the results.
In his earlier stint, Prasun served as the research director with DFID funded project on agricultural nutrition-LANSA (Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia), where he was responsible to develop the evidence-based protocol on farming system for nutrition which has been widely accepted by the policy makers in India and other parts of South Asia (Published in Agricultural Research Journal published by Springer and available at http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40003-014-0119-5#page-1). The work done on nutrition sensitive agricultural value chain development is another landmark achievement on programmatic work and resource management in the farming system for Prasun while he was leading the multi-cultural LANSA team in South Asia.
As a member of senior management team for a large commercial bank in India, Prasun contributed in augmenting the agribusiness loan portfolio and supported in policy development of the bank. While working as special officer for the national government of India helped Dr. Das for better understanding of the technical and financial aspects of the rural development projects and the reporting system to match with the global trends and best practices. The exposures of working with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Regional Organizations in South and South-East Asia have enhanced the communications and interpersonal skills of Prasun and also helped him to work with multicultural teams and to explore and catalyse ideas and turn them into actionable initiatives.
The main areas of work and of Dr. Das are synergizing agriculture and farming system with the value chains and access to finance for enhanced productivity and efficiency of the small holder farmers. He is a recognized leader in the areas of value chain development and finance, agriculture for nutrition and linking farmers with the support systems in South Asia, South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and published more than 20 international books/monographs/research papers on the area of his specialization. He also serves as advisors to number of the Government and Non-Government bodies dealing with rural and agricultural development in the Asia-Pacific region and Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Das travelled extensively across Asia, Africa, Europe and well versed in South Asian Languages.