Brief Bio of Speakers
|Smt Nirmala Sitharaman
Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman took over as the Union Finance Minister, Government of India on 31 st May 2019. Before this assignment, she was the Minister of Defence (from 3 September 2017 till 30 May 2019), Minister-in-charge of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Minister of State in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. She was a member of National Commission for Women for 3 years.She is an economist by education and obtained Masters (MA) and MPhil in Economics from Seetha Lakshmi Ramaswamy College, Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.Smt. Sitharaman represented Government of India as a leader in many high level bilateral and multilateral delegations. She represented India in World Economic Forum and WTO meetings. She led the Indian delegations to EU Summit and bilateral meeting with EU member countries. Smt. Sitharaman also accompanied the Prime Minister of India in many countries of Asia, Africa and Europe.
|Shri Debasish Panda, IAS
Department of Financial services, Government of India
Shri Debasish Panda is an officer of Indian Administrative Service of 1987 batch of UP Cadre and belongs to the State of Orissa. He joined the Department of Financial Services on 23 March 2018. He is a Post Graduate in Physics, Developmental Management and obtained M.Phill Degree in Environmental Sciences. He has also undergone foreign training in Public Administration from USA and Philippines.Joined the Government service in 1987, he held several key posts in the Government of UP such as District Magistrates in Deoria, Tehri, Uttarakashi and Ghaziabad Districts and Principal Secretary (Home and General Admn.) He also served the Government of India in the capacity of Joint Secretary (Health and FW) and as Dy. Director (Admn) in AIIMS. Before joining as Additional Secretary in the Department of Financial Services, he was holding the dual charge of Resident Commissioner of UP in Delhi as well as Chief Executive Officer, Greater Noida Development Authority.
|Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, IAS
Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi has more than twenty five years of experience in the Indian Administrative Service. He is a Fulbright scholar, holds a Masters in International Public Policy from SAIS (School of Advanced International Studies), Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC, USA and has a PhD in Development Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, India. Since September 2018, he has served as Joint Secretary, in the Ministry of Agriculture, & Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India and is currently posted as Additional Secretary in the same ministry. Prior to these assignments he served as Principal Secretary, Agriculture in the Government of the State of Haryana for over two years.
Paul Winters is the Associate Vice-President, Strategy and Knowledge Department at the International Fund for Agricultural Development. From 2004-2015, he was a Professor of Economics at American University in Washington, DC. Before American University, he worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, the University of New England and the International Potato Center. He has published numerous articles in the areas of impact evaluation, migration, cash transfer programs, rural development and smallholder agriculture. He holds a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
FAO Representative in India
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)Mr. Shichiri joined as FAO representative to India in September 2018. Prior to this he was the FAO Representative in Afghanistan from 2014 to August 2018. From 2006 to 2011 in Afghanistan, he served as a Project Manager in the Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit of the FAO Afghanistan. The programme included humanitarian, agricultural alternative livelihood and food security in the context of post-conflict, stabilization and peacebuilding. In 2009 also he served as acting GAIN coordinator (Greening Afghanistan Initiative Programme) under joint programme of 6 UN agencies. In 2011, he was in FAO headquarters in Rome as the head of operation unit of the Crisis Management Centre – Animal Health (CMC-AH) for preparedness and rapid response to transboundary animal and zoonotic disease emergencies.Before joining FAO, Mr. Shichiri was a consultant in the Rural Development Department of the World Bank in Washington DC, USA from 1998 to 2000. Thereafter he served as Expert in JICA and worked for the Sabah State Forest Development Authority (SAFODA) in Malaysia, the State Institute of Research, Science and Technology of the State of Amapa (IEPA) in Brazil, the Environment Department of the States of Rondonia (SEDAM) in Brazil, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources in Tunisia.Mr. Shichiri, a Japanese national, born in Osaka, holds a M.Sc. in Forestry from Yale University, USA. He also holds B.A. from Doshisha University and Nihon University, JAPAN. Mr. Shichiri was the Recipient of the B.R. Sen Award in 2017 at the 40th Session of the FAO Conference in Rome, Italy.
|Mr. Senarath Bandara
Chief Executive Officer/General Manager
Bank of Ceylon, Sri LankaMr. Bandara is currently the Chief Executive Officer/ General Manager in Bank of Ceylon, the most successful commercial Bank in Sri Lanka. Prior to this position, he served in several key areas of banking including Sales & Channel Management, International Banking Operations, Treasury Management, Corporate Lending, Development Banking and Electronic Banking in senior capacities. He also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Ceylon (UK) Ltd, London during 2011-2012. He assumed the position of APRACA Chairman Since November 2018.Prior to joining the Bank, he served as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and served at Mahaweli Authority. He had been a resource person at the Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka in the field of credit and investment management too. He currently serves in the Governing Board of Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka and is a director of BOC Travels (Pvt) Ltd, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka, Credit Information Bureau of Sri Lanka Ltd, BOC Property Development & Management (Pvt) Ltd, Ceybank Asset Management Ltd, Hotels Colombo (1963) Ltd, Koladeniya Hydropower (Pvt) Ltd, Lanka Financial Services Bureau Ltd, Lanka Clear (Pvt) Ltd and Bank of Ceylon (UK) Ltd. He is the Chairman of BOC Management & Support Services (Pvt) Ltd and Ceybank Holiday Homes (Pvt) Ltd.Mr. Bandara is a Physical Science graduate of the University of Kelaniya and holds MBA degree with Merit Pass from the Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka. Also, he has successfully completed Advanced Management Program conducted by the Harvard Business School, USA. He is a Fellow member of Institute of Bankers of Sri Lanka and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Bank Management from the same institute together with the best student award in 1998.
|Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), India
Dr. Bhanwala became Chairman of NABARD in December 2013. He was earlier the Executive Director in India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL) and also functioned as its CMD for nearly six months. He was in-charge of the Corporate Planning, Human Resource Development and Credit Enhancement initiatives as Chief General Manager in IIFCL. He spearheaded development of Credit Enhancement initiative, the first of its own kind of initiative in our country which aims at enabling the infrastructure projects to approach Debt Capital Markets to substitute high cost debt and simultaneously helps banks in freeing up their capital and manage the challenges of exposure and long tenure which they face in financing infrastructure sector.Dr. Bhanwala has also worked in various capacities as an officer in NABARD and was the Managing Director of Delhi State Cooperative Bank Ltd (DSCB) during its turning around (2000 to 2005). During his stay with NABARD & DSCB, he gathered expertise in Financial Inclusion, Microfinance, Coop. Credit Institutions, Rural Infrastructure Project Development and Project Appraisal related to Agricultural Projects. He is a Post Graduate in Management from IIM, Ahmedabad and is a PhD degree holder.
|Prasun Kumar Das
Secretary General, APRACA Bangkok, ThailandPrasun Kumar Das assumed the position of Secretary General of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) since December 2016 based in Bangkok, Thailand. Prior to this assignment Prasun worked as the Regional Project Manager of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) grant project where he was managing five (5) country teams in China, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand and also served as the Research Director for South Asia in LANSA (DFID Project on Agricultural Nutrition in South Asia). He was also an Associate Professor in Agri-Business Management and Finance, Downscaling Expert for World Bank assisted project in development financial institution, international expert consultant in Agricultural Value Chain Development and Finance for Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He held Senior Management position in public sector bank focused on agribusiness development and consultant advisor/expert on rural development to the Government of India.Prasun holds a Doctoral Degree in Agricultural Sciences and MBA with specialization in Financial
Management and Certified Professional in Banking and Finance. He also led number of action research projects and impact assessment studies (funded by National and international agencies) related to agricultural value chains, agribusiness finance and climate smart agriculture and financing options. Prasun authored/co-authored more than 25 international publications (books, country study reports, case studies, training toolkits and research papers) which are largely focused in the areas of rural/agricultural finance best practices, value chain development and finance and impact studies on rural development projects.
Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture
Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
Dr. Ashok Gulati is a renowned Indian agricultural economist and for his contribution to the field, he was honored with the Padma Shri, a high Indian civilian award, by the President of India in 2015. His research centers around issues related to agriculture and food security, agri-trade and agri-value chains, crop insurance, subsidies, sustainability and poverty alleviation He authored more than 200 books and journal articles related to food security and other development issues related to agriculture and its allied subsectors.Dr. Gulati is currently the Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture, India Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. Before joining ICRIER, he was the Chairman, Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Government of India and hold the position of Director in Asia, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), New Delhi. Dr. Gulati also worked as Director, Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington D.C., USA and NABARD Chair Professor, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), University Enclave, Delhi, India.
Former Secretary of State and Director General, Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland, BerneDr. Bernard Lehmann is currently the member of Steering Board HLPE of the Committee of World Food Security CFS-FAO. He was the Secretary of State and Director General of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland from 2011 till 2019. Before taking up this post, he was Professor of Agricultural Economics at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH).He was Director of the Institute for Agricultural Sciences, and subsequently Head of Department for Agricultural and Food Sciences. After working at the Swiss Farmers' Union Secretariat, he obtained a doctorate from the Institute of Agricultural Economics of the ETH. He returned to the Swiss Farmers’ Union. From 1987 to 1991 he was Deputy Director of the Swiss Farmers’ Union. Mr
Lehman holds a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Engineering.
Director, Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).Before joining IFAD, Triki worked at the African Development Bank (AfDB) as Manager in the Microeconomics, Institutions and Development Impact Division, Chief Economist Complex, at its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. In that role, she managed a team in charge of supporting the review and appraisal of AfDB non-sovereign (i.e private sector) operations in terms of additionality and development impact. From 2013 to 2017, she was Chief Country Economist at AfDB North Africa Regional Department based in Tunis, Tunisia where she worked on both private and public sector operations, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship, Public Private Partnerships and financial inclusion/ financial sector development. She also played a leading role in setting up the AfDB Public Private Partnerships Hub for North Africa. From 2008 to 2013 Triki held a senior and then principal economist position at AfDB where she was part of the Additionality and Development Outcome Assessment (ADOA) team dealing with AfDB private sector operations, particularly financial sector operations. Before joining the AfDB, Triki spent about 10 years in various positions in academia – teaching finance in Canada, France and Tunisia, and managing and
consulting with private sector businesses.Triki holds a PhD in finance from HEC Montréal.
President, Global Development Network, New DelhiPierre Jacquet is the fourth President of the Global Development Network (GDN). Formerly Chief Economist of the French Development Agency (AFD) between 2002 and 2012, he also served as the Executive Director in charge of strategy from 2002 to 2010. Preceding AFD, he was Deputy Director of the French Institute on International Relations (IFRI), where he was responsible for the economic program and was Chief Editor of IFRI’s quarterly review Politique Etrangère.From 1994 to 2012, Pierre Jacquet was President of the Department of Economic and Social Sciences and Professor of International Economics at the Ecole nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, a renowned French graduate engineering school. He has also lectured in various business schools and universities such as INSEAD, Sciences-Po, the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and Ecole nationale d’ Administration (ENA).
Chief General Manager, NABARD, Head Office, MumbaiMr. Sunil Kumar currently heads the Farm Sector Policy Department of NABARD. He has previously been Vice – President at NABCONS (Subsidiary of NABARD), General Manager and Faculty Member at Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow. His expertise includes Project Appraisal, Monitoring & Evaluation, Formulation of Climate Change related Projects, Commodity Futures Market, Investment & Treasury Management in Banks, Financial Inclusion, Producers’ collectives in farm and non-farm sector and Microfinance.He holds an FPM (PhD) in Economics from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. He represents NABARD on the Board of Directors of NCDEX.He currently works on channelizing national, international and private finances for adaptation and mitigation activities in India (Climate Financing). His areas of interest include Enhancing Farmers’ Access to Markets, Policy inputs on issues related to Farm Sector, Crop Insurance and Umbrella Programme on Natural Resource Management (UPNRM).
Member, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) Government of IndiaDr. Ramesh Chand is a renowned Indian agricultural economist and a policy maker of repute. Over the last three and half decades, he has been actively involved in food and nutritional security related agricultural issues. Since 2015, he is a Member, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog in the rank of Union Minister of State, Government of India. NITI Aayog, formerly known as the Planning Commission of India, is a policy think-tank, chaired by the Prime Minister of India. In this position, Dr. Chand is directly steering India’s agricultural development agenda with major focus on food and nutrition security. He is also providing policy related inputs to the Ministries both of the Central and State Governments concerning land and water resources, SDGs, poverty alleviation, forest and environment, sustainable livelihood, smallholder development, food processing, value chain and agricultural marketing. He is also a Member of the Fifteenth Finance Commission of India, which determines devolution of tax resources between the Union Government and the States and recommends fiscal consolidation roadmap. Dr. Chand is also serving as Vice Chairman, Commission on Farmers’ Prosperity, State of Uttar Pradesh, India.Dr. Ramesh Chand holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and is currently responsible for India’s vision, strategy and action agenda for the agriculture sector, including the government’s flagship agricultural program for doubling farmers’ income. Dr. Chand has served in eminent academic and research management positions including: National Professor at Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Principal Scientist at National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, Professor at Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi, and Professor at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India; Visiting Professor at University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia, and Visiting Fellow at Institute of Developing Economies, Chiba-shi Japan. He was Director of National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, New Delhi for six years.
|Amar KJR Nayak
Professor of Strategic Management & Principal Investigator, Sustainable Ecological Systems, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIM-B)Prof. Nayak is a tenured full time Professor of Strategic Management at the Xavier Institute of Management, Xavier University Bhubaneswar. Prof. Nayak engages in research, teaching and policy advice on transition strategies for rebuilding sustainable community systems. He uses both deductive and contextually rich inductive methods of research in his analysis. He adopts action research in rural communities from design and systems perspective to test his hypothesis and theories on specific ecosystems. He has published five books, two monographs, and over 70 cases and research articles. He has been adviser and consultant to Governments, UN Agencies, Companies, NGOs and various Institutions.
Director, ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research, IndiaSuresh Pal has a PhD in agricultural economics from ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (New Delhi). Before joining ICAR-National Institute for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research in 2016, he was Member (Official), Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, and Head, Division of Agricultural Economics, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (New Delhi). He was member of various committees of the Government, notably ICAR, Niti Ayog (formerly Planning Commission), Ministry of Environment and Forest, Department of Science and Technology, and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. He has also worked with international organizations like World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, Overseas Development Institute and CGIAR Centres for short-term assignments and collaborative programme.He has more than thirty years of experience and made significant contributions to the advancement of research and teaching in the area of agricultural development and policy. He was instrumental in designing and institutionalization of research planning and management reforms in the national agricultural research system and facilitated external reviews of ICAR and its institutes. He has been associated with leading professional associations as member and office bearer, and received awards for his significant contributions like best journal article awards, Norman E Borlaug International Science Fellowship, Fellow of Indian Society of Agricultural Economics (Mumbai), and Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
|Anil Kumar Sharma
Executive Director, Reserve Bank of IndiaAnil Kumar Sharma is the Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India. Before taking over as ED, he was headed the Enforcement Department of Reserve Bank of India as Chief General Manager. He has done his Masters in Economics from Doaba College Jalandhar, Punjab and was UGC Fellow at Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune before joining RBI in 1986. He holds a Diploma in Treasury and Risk Management and is a Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers. His experience in the Bank lies in the area of management of currency and banking, rural credit, and supervision. He also worked as member of faculty in RBI College of Agricultural Banking, Pune.
Task team leader, Financial Institutions division Agence Française de Développement (AFD)Mr. Bruno VINDEL is responsible for back-stopping several projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America; he is in particular managing the “AGREENFI” programme of AFD. At AFD, he first served (2008 – 2011) as food security expert, and then as an economist in the Asia Department (2011 – 2015), monitoring macro-economics of several Asian countries and managing the partnership between AFD and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Bruno VINDEL holds a diploma in agricultural economics and belongs to the French corps “Ponts, Eaux et Forêts”. He has served as head of the agricultural sector at the Secretariat for European Affairs (1988-1989) and was agro-industry expert at UNIDO (1991-1992). He headed the agriculture and private sector division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 2001 and was then Director for evaluation, foresight and economic studies at the Ministry of Agriculture from 2002 to 2008.
Founder Director, Action for Social Advancement (ASA)Ashis is the founder Director of Action for Social Advancement (ASA). His major working experience of three decades include development of livelihoods for smallholders through natural resources management including sustainable agriculture and promotion of smallholders’ organization for agribusiness. He has significant consulting experience with the World Bank, FAO, Asian Development Bank, Planning Commissions of Indian States and International NGOs. Ashis has co-authored book “Monitoring for Outcomes in Community Driven Projects”, published by The World Bank, Washington DC, 2007. He was a member of the National Advisory Council of India. He has served as member in various advisory committees and governing bodies of government organisations, national and international organisations.
Agricultural Finance, USA
Calvin Miller is an experienced expert on agricultural and rural finance and investment as well as working in rural economic development with smallholder organizations. Mr Miller is a consultant retired from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization where he was Senior Officer and Leader of the Agribusiness and Finance Group, AGS Division. He is an Agricultural Economist and prior to FAO has worked as Country Manager of MEDA in Bolivia and as Director of Economic Development in CARE, plus consulting with numerous development agencies. He was founder of MicroVest, a $350 million dollar, global, socially responsive, family of microfinance investment funds financed by private sector investors and Chairs the Board of FairTrade Access Investment Fund. He is the author of numerous publications, including a well-known book titled Agricultural Value Chain Finance: Tools and Lessons and two publications on Agricultural Investment Funds for Developing Countries and Agricultural Guarantee Schemes and many others. Mr. Miller has extensive practical experience in agricultural value chain finance at all levels, and is interested in training trainers to expand the knowledge across Africa and other regions.
Regional Lead Technical Specialist (Inclusive Rural Financial Services for Asia and Pacific) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)Michael Hamp holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Agricultural Economics and a Master Degree in Agricultural Engineering both from the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Bonn, Germany. In the 1980s and 1990s he worked for the Federal Ministries of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (BMELF) and of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in various departments. He became staff member of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome on 1 November 2007. The Rural Finance Unit managed by him includes two specialized sub-teams: the multi-donor funded Financing Facility for Remittances (FFR), the Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM), merged with the Weather Risk Management team. Since 1 October 2018, he has taken the technical responsibility for Rural Finance, Markets and Enterprise Development in Asia and South Pacific. Prior to IFAD, Michael Hamp has been working with the German Technical Cooperation, GTZ (today it is GIZ). He was assigned as Principal Advisor to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Project (1999-2003) in Namibia, before he joined the Central Bank of Indonesia as Principal Advisor for the Promotion of Small Financial Institution (ProFI) Programme until October 2007.
Vice Chairman of the Board & President Agricultural Development Bank of ChinaMr. QIAN joined the Agricultural Development Bank of China in July 1985 and became the Deputy General Manager of Shanghai Branch of China Construction Bank (CCB) in November 1999 and worked there till March 2003, during which he also led the Office of Asset and Liability Management Committee of China Construction Bank from October 2001 to March 2003, and took the concurrent post as head of Office for System Reform of China Construction Bank from November 2001 to March 2003. From March 2003 to October 2004. He also served as General Manager of the Asset and Liability Management Department of China Construction Bank, and headed the Restructuring and Reform Office of China Construction Bank from October 2003 to
October 2004.In October 2004, Mr. QIAN was appointed as Vice President of Bank of Communications (BoCom), and concurrently served as General Manager of BoCom’s Shanghai Branch till November 2006. From July 2007 to February 2015, he was Executive Director and Vice President of BoCom, and subsequently took concurrent posts as Chairman of BoComm Life Insurance Co., Ltd from May 2010 to December 2013, and Chairman of BoCom Schroder Fund Management Co., Ltd. from June 2010 to February 2015. Mr. QIAN assumed the position of Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) from February 2015 to December 2017.In December 2017, Mr. QIAN took office as Vice Chairman of the Board and President of Agricultural Development Bank of China. Mr. QIAN Wenhui graduated from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and holds a master’s degree.
Senior Advisor Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) USAMatt is a Senior Advisor with ISF Advisors at the Global Development Incubator. Over the past fifteen years Matt has worked in the areas of private equity and development advisory for a number of leading organisations including Global Development Incubator, Agis Investments, Dalberg and Deloitte. Over this time, Matt has been involved in over 80 projects in 25 counties working with partners such as the Gates Foundation, the World Bank, USAID, MTN and the G8. These projects have included the design of over 500 million dollars in development programming, the mobilisation of large amounts of capital and the development of some industry leading initiatives such as ANDE, Ag Results and the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance. Within this portfolio of work Matt leads the research agenda at ISF Advisors, developing a range of industry perspective on rural finance including the triannual “state of the sector” series. Matt holds a MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of London and Bachelors of Business and Economics from the University of Queensland.
Former chairman of Crédit Agricole SA, and Current Chairman, CICAFormer chairman of Crédit Agricole SA, of the Crdédit Agricole Alsace Vosges Regional Bank, and of the Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole (FNCA), Jean-Marie Sander is today chairman of the Confédération Internationale du Crédit Agricole (CICA) , of the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality and of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation. He is also chairman of the CFM Indosuez Wealth Management since May 2016.Jean-Marie Sander is mayor of Ohlungen (Bas-Rhin, France) since 1995. He is Chevalier of the National Legion of Honor, Officer of the National Order of Merit and Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit.
Director, Foundation for world Agriculture and Rurality (FARM)An agronomist, Jean-Christophe Debar started his career as an agro-economist at the Embassy of the United States in France. He then worked several years as a consultant in international farm policy and agricultural economics.Since 2011, Mr. Debar has been the director of the Foundation for World Agriculture and Rurality (FARM), created by the French Development Agency, Crédit Agricole S.A. and other firms. FARM is a think tank devoted to the promotion of productive and sustainable food value chains, respectful of producers’ interests, in developing countries. It has an entrepreneurial vision of agriculture focused on the emergence of competitive family farms, able to supply local and international markets.
|John Joel Amimo
Programme Coordinator, AFRACA Nairobi, KenyaHe Holds a MSc. degree in Sustainable Environment Management from Middlesex University, London. He has a combined work experience spanning ten years with a diverse professional skill set ranging from project management, fundraising, agricultural finance, training and knowledge management. Prior to joining the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association, he worked for several NGO’s as Project Manager, managing SME and Youth Oriented programmes in Kenya. Mr. Amimo later joined the Commodities Fund where he served as Credit and Fundraising Manager, playing a strategic role in formulating financial solutions and services for Agri-based cooperatives. During the same period he served as a Board of Director (2011-2014) for the Canadian-based Financial Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), a network of global social lenders involved in developing Agriculture targeting rural communities.
Chief Executive Officer, ACRA Africa Nairobi, KenyaGeorge Kuria is the CEO, ACRE Africa, a service provider enterprise that links farmers to insurance products and risk mitigation solutions so that they can confidently invest in their farms. As ACRE Africa CEO, George provides strategic and managerial leadership to achieve revenue, profit and business growth. He also takes the lead in helping ACRE Africa achieve its mission to provide farmers with appropriate insurance solutions and other climate smart agricultural technologies in order to shield them against weather-related risks.Previously, George worked at Sanlam where he was Chief Executive Officer of General Insurance. He has over 18 years’ experience in a range of senior roles in the insurance industry. George is also currently the Chairman of Carolina For Kibera a NOT FOR PROFIT organization that works among the people of Kibera to develop local leaders, catalyze positive change and alleviate poverty in a participatory model. George is a MBA from Strathmore Business School, done his B.Com in Insurance, University of Nairobi and earned Diploma from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Insurance
Head of Program, MobiGrow – KCB Nairobi, KenyaDickson Naftali is the Head of the MobiGrow program at KCB Bank. With 19 years of experience in the sector, he leads all MobiGrow activities in Kenya and Rwanda, including financial services provision, as well as non-financial services (knowledge provision, access to inputs and markets and coordination of MobiGrow core teams) and partner/donor relations. Previously, he worked at TechnoServe as a Portfolio Lead, charged with giving strategic leadership and guidance to a number of agribusiness programs. Prior to TechnoServe he spent 10 years in Kenya’s telecommunications sector, his last role being Product Manager for SMS innovation solutions at Airtel Africa.
|Thomas T. Essel
Secretary General, AFRACA Nairobi, KenyaMr. Thomas Thompson Essel is the Secretary General of the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA), headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. He has over twenty years of experience in Economic and Development issues at the Bank of Ghana with considerable policy, research, international relations and rural finance experience. Before taking up this role, he was the Head of the Bank of Ghana-initiated “Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending” (GIRSAL). He provided strategic and technical guidance to management of GIRSAL during its initial years. Mr. Essel has considerable experience in policy, having worked both in Bank of Ghana and also in the Policy Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Office of the President of the Republic of Ghana for two years.Mr. Essel also has extensive experience in research, international relations and rural finance. Mr. Essel holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a Masters’ Degree in Development Studies from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. He has undertaken several courses and programmes in Economics and agricultural related areas. He has many research papers which were published in international journals.
Africa Director & Chief Rural Economist Farm Concern International, KenyaDavid has had a career spanning over 25 years across various spectrum in economic development, Agri-Value Chain structuring, programmatic entrepreneurial initiatives as well as financial services and inclusion. He is a committed African optimist and believes that better days for Africa and her people lay ahead. Before joining as Africa Director in Farm Concern International, David served various institutions in his 25 years career. He worked with Triple Jump Investment Fund as the Regional Advisor for East Africa, he was a CEO, Vision Fund (World Vision) Limited and also worked as the National Micro Credit Advisor, United Nations. David has had opportunities in the past and currently in the boards of few important institutions in Africa. Over his career, David has built talent and expertise in the areas of advocacy for fair and inclusive agribusiness in Sub Saharan economies. He is a catalytic voice for building consortiums that enhance agricultural production and trade, a moderator and effective discussant in forums that enhance African trade and Development. He is a leader/mentor to institutions and formations that enhance African economic enhancement both in private sector and development.
Senior Technical Officer at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Impact Insurance Facility.Pranav Prashad is the Senior Technical Officer at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s Impact Insurance Facility. He provides technical expertise on agriculture insurance, distribution and mobile services as well as use of technology in insurancePranav Prashad has more than two decades of experience in insurance and business management. He has initiated and taken to scale agriculture and health insurance projects amongst low income households in India, utilizing a diverse set of distribution channels and enabling the projects with technology. At the Facility, Pranav has aided in successful introduction of weather index insurance products in Sri Lanka and index related product for livestock in Kenya among other projects.He is also the lead author of the Facility’s paper looking as various ways mobile phone
technology can help in building scale and efficiency in insurance operations
He holds an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies and a bachelor's honours degree
in Economics, both from Delhi University, India.
Chief Executive Officer of La Financière agricole du QuébecErnest Desrosiers has been the Chief Executive Officer of La Financière agricole du Québec since April 2017. From 2010 to 2017, he was the Vice-President of Financing at that agency. From 2006 to 2010 he was the Associate Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture. Before that, a good part of his career was spent in the farm cooperative movement. He was first the General Manager of a number of agricultural cooperatives before becoming the Planning Manager and Chief Operating Officer of La Coop fédérée.Mr Desrosiers graduated from Laval University with a major in Agro-Economy and is a member of the Ordre des agronomes du Québec, he also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Laval.
Chief Executive Officer of Pacifica, manager of Crédit Agricole Assurances.Thierry Langreney was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Pacifica on 1 December 2010. He is second effective manager of Crédit Agricole Assurances.He began his career with UAP in 1982 where he held several positions in the Regional divisions until 1997, when he was appointed Regional Director for the North-Picardy-Champagne region at Axa Assurances. In 2001, he became Head of Group Strategy and Planning for Axa and was also the group’s representative in Benelux, Germany and Eastern Europe. In 2006, he joined the Crédit Agricole group, serving first at Crédit Agricole S.A. and then at Crédit Agricole Assurances, where he was Deputy Chief Executive Officer assisting the Head of International Insurance, with responsibility for life insurance and corporate finance. He had been Head of International Insurance at Crédit Agricole Assurances since 2010.Thierry Langreney is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and the French actuaries institute, IAF.
Director, Sustainable Development Finance, Crédit Agricole du Maroc; MoroccoMs. Mariem Dkhil is the Sustainable Finance specialist at Crédit Agricole du Maroc, leading Moroccan bank in agriculture financing. Her duties encompass the implementation of a social and environmental management system within the bank, the development of new products and services for climate-smart agriculture and the contribution to responsible agricultural supply chains.She is also committed to sharing the bank’s expertise with African financial institutions in order to improve smallholder farmers financing and mobilize higher investment amounts for the adaptation of African agriculture. Previously, she contributed to the creation of GCAM’s subsidiary Tamwil El Fellah, a financing company for smallholders excluded from traditional bank financing.Mariem is a graduate from AgroParisTech and holds a Master degree in Rural Development Economics from the University of Montpellier, France.
Visiting Senior Fellow ICRIER, New Delhi IndiaMr. Siraj Hussain joined the IAS in 1979 and was allotted Uttar Pradesh Cadre. He has served the State Govt of Uttar Pradesh in various capacities including Managing Director, UP State Industrial Development Corporation, and Registrar of Cooperative Societies.In the Government of India, he has worked as Deputy Managing Director, National Cooperative Development Corporation, Joint Secretary, Department of Food and Public Distribution and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Food Corporation of India.He served as Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Food Processing and Ministry of Agriculture. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was formulated under his supervision. After superannuation in January 2016, he joined ICRIER as Visiting Senior Fellow. He has published several research papers on agriculture.He has written articles on Indian Agriculture in Bloomberg Quint, Business Today, Business World, DNA, Financial Express, Indian Express, Mint, Money Control, the Print, Rajasthan Patrika and the Wire etc.
|Jesús Alan Elizondo Flores
Director General, FIRA, MexicoMr. Alan Elizondo assumed the position of Director General of FIRA, Mexico as on 17 July 2019. Before this assignment he was appointed as the General Director of Financial System Issues in 2013. He served as Technical Vice President at the National Banking Securities Commission, from 2008 to 2013 overviewing systemic risk. From 2002 to 2007 he was Chief Risk Officer at SHF, and from 2007 to 2008 Chief Credit and Operations Officer within the same institution.He was appointment as Chief Financial Officer in FOVI, Banco de Mexico, from 2001 to 2002 and participated in the creation of the National Housing Finance Bank, SHF. From 1994 to 2001 his professional development took place in the Central Bank where he specialized in Financial Risk Management and the Development Banking Sector.Mr. Alan graduated in Actuarial Sciences by the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), and Master in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics.
AGENCE FRANÇAISE DE DÉVELOPPEMENT (AFD), New Delhi IndiaClaude is and agro-economist and civil servant at the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of France, he was seconded successively to the Ministries of Cooperation (1993) and Foreign Affairs (1999), then to the AFD (since 2007).During this period he worked as a technical assistant in Niger (3 years), Guinea (4 years), then in charge of agricultural commodities (Paris 3 years) and cooperation attaché in Morocco (4 years).As a project manager at AFD, he followed commercial subjects (Paris 2 years) then food security (Rome 2 years) before joining the department of operations in 2011. He examines and monitors various rural development and agricultural finance projects in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Director, KfW Office New Delhi, IndiaChristoph Kessler has been working in international development cooperation for the last 25 years, gaining experience in a wide range of emerging and developing countries. Since August 2017, he is heading KFW India operations, as a director of KfW office in New Delhi. Prior to his India engagement, he has been in various leadership roles within KFW Frankfurt headquarter for over 15 years, and was division chief for agriculture, water, forestry and biodiversity conservation in more than 10 African countries.Dr. Kessler also worked in KfW policy division and had a deputation to French Development Agency (AFD), Paris. Before joining KfW, he worked with German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Mali and with the German Development Service (DED) in Ghana.Dr. Kessler has completed his PhD in Agricultural Sciences and MSc, both from University of Bonn, Germany. Besides his professional experiences and educational qualifications, he is also well conversant in five languages.
Secretary General, ALIDE Lima, PeruEdgardo Alvarez is currently the Secretary General of the Latin American Association for Development Financing Institutions (ALIDE). He has a Master of Business Administration from the Graduate School of Business Administration (ESAN), Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the National Engineering University ode Peru. Graduate of the certificate course in Advanced Management and of the University of Piura’s Program for Chief Executive Officers (Presidents and General Managers).Executive with broad experience in corporate management, having turned companies with negative performances into profitable, self-sustaining enterprises. Over 25 years of experience in development banking, investment banking, and commercial banking. He has occupied the positions of general manager and line manager of important local financial institutions.He has been an International Consultant and Professor specialized in on business management, finance, microfinance, and credit risk and evaluation.
|Shri Mahesh Kumar Jain
Reserve Bank of India
The Government of India, on June 4, 2018 has appointed Shri Jain as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India for a period of three years. He was the MD & CEO of IDBI Bank before being appointed as Deputy Governor. As Deputy Governor, Shri Jain will look after the Department of Banking Supervision, Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision, Department of Non-Banking Supervision, Central Security Cell, Department of Corporate Services including Document Management System, Rajbhasha Department, Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department and Premises Department.Shri Jain is a professional banker with more than 32 years of experience. Prior to his stint with IDBI Bank, he was heading Indian Bank. He has served at various positions in Punjab National Bank and Syndicate Bank across multiple areas that include Corporate & Retail Credit, Risk Management, Credit Monitoring including Corporate Debt Restructuring, Business Process Re-engineering, Treasury and International Banking. Shri Jain holds a Master’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration along with CFA and FRM. He is also a Fellow Member of IIBF.
Senior Executive Vice President, Bank for Agriculture & Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), ThailandMr. Tanaratt assumed the position of Senior Executive Vice President, BAAC since 2018. He served as the Executive Vice President and Vice President from 2016 till 2018 in the information technology and digital marketing department of the bank respectively. He received the training programme on Digital Economy of Management Digital Marketing Certificate Program, Strategic IT Governance Information Security and Cyber security Management for Executives and Digital Transformation Strategy for Senior Management. He attended various management development programme foreign countries and participated in many conferences across the globe.He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (General Management) from Ramkhamhaeng University and received his Master’s degree Science (Program in Computer Science), from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
|Dr Jean-Claude Bidogeza
Lead Economist, ARC African Risk Capacity (ARC)
Dr. Bidogeza joined ARC in 2018 as Lead Economist and prior to ARC, he was a staff at the World Bank fully embedded in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda as Strategic Advisor to the Permanent Secretary (PS) and advising the Ministry on various operational, technical, and strategic issues related to the agriculture sector in Rwanda. Dr Bidogeza also has considerable experience working with international organisations and across the African continent having worked with the World Vegetable Center, Africa, the ACP Secretariat, UNCTAD, FARA, UNDP, IFDC and a number of Universities. For work purpose, Jean-Claude has resided on a long- term basis in Nairobi (Kenya), Accra (Ghana), Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Kigali (Rwanda), and the scope of his work has covered numerous countries in west, central, eastern and southern Africa regions and beyond.Jean-Claude holds a PhD in business economics from Wageningen University and Research Center, an MSc in the management of physical land resources from Ghent University (Belgium), an agricultural engineering degree majoring in animal production from the University of Burundi. He has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Georgia (USA). He is a citizen of Burundi and Rwanda and is fluent in English and French.