Mumbai: Agricultural development is essential in building a sustainable future in India. Technology and scientific knowledge are required in improving yields, designing distribution models and planning logistics. Technological disruptions are structuring the mechanics of agriculture. Today, Agriculture education is addressing challenges in farming through grass root programs and experiential learning. Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool), VHL University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands and ADT (Agricultural Development Trust), Baramati, collaborate with an aim to add value in agriculture education by including business management perspective. Business management education through research and Agri-Tech start-ups is contributing solutions in agriculture. With this alliance, students will benefit through exchange of educational resources and teaching pedagogy, providing Indian students an understanding of world class practices in agriculture as well as the rural- ground level perspective. The collaboration will work towards designing a joint program that will allow students to benefit from the strength of all the three institutes and leverage management education to strengthen the Agribusiness sector.
The signing ceremony conducted in the presence of Mr. Sritanu Chatterjee, Agri-Business & Trade Officer, Consulate General of the Netherlands in Mumbai, Prof. Harry Ankoné, Dean, Delta Areas & Resources, VHL University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands; Prof. Marise Haesendonckx, Agribusiness and Business Administration, VHL University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands; Shri. Rajendra Pawar, Chairman, ADT and Shri. Nilesh Nalawade, CEO, ADT; Shri. S. K. Jain, Chairman, Managing Council, S. P. Mandali’s and Local Managing Committee, WeSchool and Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, S.P. Mandali’s WeSchool, formally announced WeSchool association with VHL University of Applied Sciences (Van Hall Larenstein), Netherlands and ADT (Agricultural Development Trust), Baramati.
Shri. Prof. Harry Ankoné, Dean, Delta Areas & Resources, VHL University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands, expressed his thoughts on the collaboration by saying, “I am glad that we are commencing and exploring the area of AgriBusiness and Agricultural education. Students will be exposed to a combination of national and international programs in agriculture/rural management and can choose specializations from production chain management in AgriBusiness, supply and value chain development and management of development. These programs could be short term and long term. Other areas under the collaboration will include research and student exchange programs.”
Shri. Rajendra Pawar, Chairman, ADT added saying, “There are three strengths involved, of three unique institutions namely WeSchool; VHL, The Netherlands & ADT, Baramati. Leveraging on these strengths we plan to provide students a global exposure. Students under this alliance will also be able to access to different Agricultural practices developed by VHL at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, ADT, Baramati, alongside dairy and poultry modules in agricultural management and landscape & architecture.”
Shri. S. K. Jain, Chairman, Managing Council, S. P. Mandali and Local Managing Committee, WeSchool, expressing his sentiments said, “This initiative will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Netherlands through knowledge exchange. It will educate students to adapt to design thinking and open career prospects in AgriBusiness sector, academic research; and motivate them to relook at start-ups in AgriTech. We believe that our students will make the best of this opportunity and gain skills to excel in their future avenues.”
Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool, said, “A typical work role in agriculture requires theoretical knowledge and practical experience in planning produce, managing finance, supply chain and thorough understanding of crop production. With the right business management skills, farming practice can become resilient even without monsoon and apply technology more effectively to overcome challenges. This tie up will ascertain significance of management skills in agriculture education. Our students will be offered opportunities to gain scientific know-how through field-work and research in India and Netherlands. ”
WeSchool currently offers two year full time PGDM – Rural Management (Emerging Economies) program. It grooms students to become future leaders who have a deep understanding and knowledge about the rural sector of India in terms of the needs and aspirations, lifestyle, culture and beliefs of the people residing in the smaller towns and villages.