Second Year Courses

In the second year of the PGP-ABM programme, students have to take 17.5 credits equivalent of courses. Of these 17.5 credits, 6.5 credits have to be earned from Agribusiness Compulsory courses. The students can take at the most one credit equivalent of courses from the general Management Elective courses and remaining they have to opt from Agribusiness Elective courses.

Agribusiness Compulsory Courses

Agribusiness Project Management:

The project management helps us to foresee various possible problems and to plan, organize and control activities so that projects are completed as successfully as possible despite all the risks. This process of project management starts well before any resource is committed, and continues until all the work is finished. The concept of the project life cycle; peculiarities of agribusiness and development projects and their differences form core of this course. The concepts relevant to the management of social development programmes and projects are discussed in this course whose benefits are not always amenable to quantification.

Agricultural Input Marketing:

The course applies the understanding of various marketing concepts in the context of Agriculture Input Marketing in India. The objective of the course is to enhance the understanding and analytical capabilities with respect to products, market environment, and operational issues in marketing of agricultural inputs. The emphasis of the course is not on the basic marketing concepts, but largely on their application to the context of the operational strategies of major marketed agricultural inputs.

Strategic Management:

The objectives of Strategic Management course are to introduce the students to the concept of Strategic Management, to develop in them a corporate perspective, to provide them with one integrative skills to identify and address the inter-functional problems/issues in organisations of different complexities, and to provide them with the conceptual and analytical frameworks available for the purpose. The course is in two parts, covering strategy formulation and implementation issues respectively. The first part focusses on: Concept of Corporate Strategy; Role of General Manager in Strategy Formulation; Organisational Mission, Objectives and Strategies; Environmental Analysis; Internal Appraisal; Personal Values; Social Responsibility of Business; Strategic Options; and Strategic Choices. The second part of the course covers: Resource Allocation; Organisation Structure, Systems, Skills, Functional Policies; and Leadership Styles. (1.5 Credit)

Rural Research Methods:

One of the most important requirements in agribusiness is generation of adequate reliable information related to input use and output market for various enterprises at affordable cost in less time. A number of tools and techniques have been developed over time for such activities. This course is designed to help students to understand and identify the researchable problems in the agriculture and allied subjects. Students will be provided adequate knowledge to analyze the identified problems using appropriate statistical tools and techniques. The course focuses a great deal on hands-on exercises in the rural setting so as to equip students to undertake Field Visit – a core course in Term V – in an effective manner. The students, at the end of the course, are ready with the research problem they would like to work on during their Field Visit. Specifically, this course covers introduction to research methods, variable, indicators, method of measurement and scaling; designing of schedules and questionnaire, preparation of case studies, field research methods, practical application and experimental learning of participatory research methods for diagnostic and applied research, prioritization and impact assessment, etc.

Supply Chain Management in Agribusiness:

This course is designed to enable the students to make optimal use of the financial resources of the organisation. Major topics covered in the course are: Funds Flow Analysis; Basic Concepts of Working Capital Management; Forecasting Working Capital Needs; Cash Management.

New Venture Planning in Agribusiness:

Economic liberalization and globalization in the last decade, coupled with emergence of service sector, especially knowledge industries, has opened doors to vast entrepreneurial opportunities. Eentrepreneurship has a great application to modern agriculture as producers are searching for new ways to increase their incomes. No matter how hard producers attempt to reduce their costs and improve efficiency, they can not get ahead in the absence of proper business planning. This has forced many agriculturists to look for new business models that allow them for greater value creation and most importantly greater value capture. The course is appropriately modified to explore and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities in the agribusiness sector while at the same time exposes students to basic issue of business planning in general. Specifically the course covers: Identification of agribusiness opportunities consistent with the personal profile of the agri-entrepreneurs; Understanding the entrepreneurial behaviour under different socio-economic and political environment; Identification of personal goals, values and entrepreneurial ability in the agriculture sector; Development of strategies for new ideas and business plan; and Preparation of sustainable and profitable agribusiness plan.

Field Work:

Agribusiness is a complex system consists of four major sub-components – input supply, agricultural production, processing & value addition and marketing and distribution. These components are very much influenced by various internal and external factors and centered to “the farmer/ producers”, who are considered to be primary stakeholders in agribusiness process. The agribusiness firms participating any of the agribusiness system components need to understand socio-cultural & economic background of farming communities and rural settings for effective decision-making. Therefore, agribusiness professionals/ managers need to be exposed about the rural realities, agricultural production system, local resources, and constraints faced by the farmers related to their income and livelihoods. During these visits, they are given assignments to document various aspects of local institutions, local governance, socio-economic condition of farmers, business opportunities, agricultural practices, surplus generation, technology adoption, diversification, allied/ supplementary activities, non-farm activities, rural infrastructure, crediting etc. The assignment themes are notified in advance and requisition of preference will be invited from the students. To increase the geographical coverage of each assignment, not more than two students of a particular theme are allowed to participate in a group.

Risk Management in Agribusiness:

Risk management is the systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the tasks of identifying, analysing, assessing, treating and monitoring risk. It is a way for an organization to balance the chances of serious losses against the opportunities for profit-making. Risk management is not a set of procedures that are followed, once and for all, to ‘inoculate’ the organization against risk but is a continuous, adaptive process that needs to be integrated into all relevant aspects of the decision-making procedures of the organization. Risk and uncertainty are inescapable factors in agriculture. Agriculture also tends to be fairly capital intensive with considerable investment in items such as land and machinery. Farmers are confronted with risks not only in making short-term production and marketing decisions, but also with longer-term investments decisions. Types of risk include production risk related to the weather, crop and livestock performance, and pests and diseases, market risks, government-influenced institutional risks, and personal or human risk. All these risks constitute business risk, which is further related to financial risk. Dealing with all these types of risk systematically, whether for farmers, researchers or policy makers, is difficult.

International Trade in Agricultural Products:

The course focuses on theoretical and applied issues in international trade as applied to trade in agricultural and food products. The course aims to familiarize the participants with basic principles, policies and applied issues in international trade with emphasis on agriculture. The course involves use of tools and concepts to enhance analytical and decision-making skills to compete successfully in the global agribusiness sector. Major topics included : Overview of World Agricultural Trade, India’s Performance in Agricultural Exports and Imports, Theoretical Foundation of International Trade, Trade Policies of Importing and Exporting Countries, Trade Barriers, Market Size, Familiarization with Harmonized System of Codes and International Trade Databases, Importance of Cultural Factors in International Trade, International Market Entry Strategies, Preparation For Export Price Quotation, Incoterms, Letter of Credit and Other system of payment, Political Economy and Indian Trade Policy for Agricultural Products, European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and U.S. 2002 Farm Bill, Competitiveness in Global Food Economy, Operational Issues for the Starting up an Export Business, Interaction with Exporter of Agricultural Products and Project Report Preparation and Presentation.

Agribusiness Elective Courses

Rural Financial Services:

Financial Inter-mediation is one of the crucial dimensions of the rural households’ production and livelihood system. This becomes more important as there is mis-match between flow of income and expenditure in the livelihoods of rural people. Accordingly, a sound system of institutions and instruments of rural financial inter-mediation becomes essential for promoting rural livelihood. A lot of financial institutions with varied and diversified methodology have been promoted in India and other developing countries to provide financial services to rural sector. This course is intended to give a clear understanding of the needs for financial services of rural people, the various approaches, methodologies and institutions operating in this field. Course coverage includes: Role of financial services in rural livelihood promotion, Basic concepts about rural finance, Principals of credit appraisal, Inter-linked credit transactions, Transaction cost of borrowing and lending, Arrears and defaults – definition and measurement, Need for micro-savings services, Micro-insurance, Overview of rural financial agencies in India, Role of RBI, NABARD, Commercial Banks and RRBs in Rural Finance, Micro credit and self-help groups, Best practices in rural finance, Models of rural financial services, Design of sustainable rural financial Institutions and Monitoring and evaluation of rural credit projects.

Agribusiness Cooperative Management:

Cooperative organisations are people’s organisations, which are formed by the members voluntarily, owned by them, and run by them democratically to satisfy their social and economic needs. Cooperative organisations throughout the world have carved out a place for themselves and have rightfully established themselves in the form of an independent sector – the cooperative sector – along with the other two sectors, the private and public sectors. Examples of success are available in many countries where cooperative organisations have not only met the economic needs of their members but have also played a significant role in the social development of their members and the human community in general. In view of the above, this course would provide a complete understanding about the cooperative organizations and the ways & means to manage such organizations. Coverage of topics includes: Principles of Cooperation, Economics of Cooperatives: SWOT Analysis, Process of Cooperative Formation, Cooperative Legislations, Governance in Agribusiness Cooperatives, Management of Cooperatives, Overview of Agribusiness Cooperatives, Credit Cooperatives, Production/ Processing Based Cooperatives, Cooperative Marketing, Dairy Cooperatives, Tribal Cooperatives, Natural Resource Management, Financing Agribusiness Cooperatives, Business Development Planning for Cooperatives, MIS for Agribusiness Cooperatives, Collective Action and Leadership in Cooperatives, Promotion of Cooperative Movement-Education & Training

Corporate Environmental Management & Carbon Markets:

While global society is witnessing unprecedented economic growth owing primarily to large-scale industrialization, the growing degradation of the natural environment is becoming a main threat to human survival in the long term. In such a scenario, a major challenge confronting businesses is being able to reconcile economic imperatives with environmental sustainability. In the recent past, environmental concerns have proliferated around the globe, and various concepts, ideas and approaches on environmental management and strategy have been developed. Many companies have declared their environmental strategy with nice-sounding phrases such as ‘environmental excellence’, ‘sustainable development’ and ‘minimum harm to the environment’, ‘triple bottom line’ etc. With the increased globalization, businesses are resorting to environmentally benign technologies and products as a strategy to enhance their global competitiveness. The course focuses on how businesses can move beyond an approach that seeks simply to minimise environmental impacts to strategies that seek to proactively manage various environmental issues. In addition to exposing participants to working of Carbon Markets and their potentials, the course will describe various concepts related to environmental management systems.

Procurement Management for Agro Processing Industry:

The purpose of this course is to provide a framework for designing and analyzing procurement of raw material for agro-processing industries. Since raw materials are the dominant cost to most agro-processing industries, the procurement system is a major determinant of their economic feasibility. Procurement is also critical to agricultural development because it links the industrial and agricultural sectors, and therefore, it directly affects the rural families

International Trade Logistics in Agribusiness:

The process of globalization and production specialization has resulted in significant increase in the movement of agricultural commodities from one part of the world to other, raising issues of effective logistic management. This course explores the drivers behind the increase in international logistics – the global logistic systems for market expansion, the differences in the capabilities of the various logistics systems around the world, the additional and appropriate requirements that have to be fulfilled to allow movements of goods between countries, the impact on inventories and sourcing strategies – for facilitating the timely and accurate flow of import and export shipments.

Emerging Issues in Agribusiness & Food Industry:

Agribusiness and food industry, today, is facing unprecedented changes on various fronts: continuously increasing globalization in the sector leading to rise of global enterprises in the World’s Food Chain; rapidly and radically changing consumer food preferences; new and innovative technology in production, processing and distribution; introduction of novel concepts like genetically engineered food and organic farming; and societal concern about sustainability of agriculture. This implies new historical relationships for agri-food systems, including new relationships among nations and states. Also, these transformations have a fundamental impact on the way agribusiness activities are conceived and managed, and hence, agribusinesses can no longer afford to be insensitive to these changes. Business managers working in the agribusiness sector need to be aware of these issues so as to be able to develop and implement effective matching strategies.

Marketing Models for Agribusiness:

A model is simply a representation. Models characterize either what currently exists in fact, or what might exist in the future. Marketing models represent such operations as an existing product distribution system; a consumer’s value structure, consumer preference modeling for product choices, or the effects of advertising on consumer awareness, knowledge, attitudes, or intention to purchase. The purpose of a model is typically to provide the manager with a guide for evaluating the effect of a set of input variables.

Rural Marketing:

Recent changes in national and global business environment have forced companies to re-evaluate their pre-conceived notions about profit opportunities in serving the relatively poor consumer. Now it is a well accepted fact that the bottom of the consumer pyramid highlights the way to commercial success and societal improvement. In this context India’s vast untapped rural market present a huge market growth potential for the companies, especially in a market landscape where competition is growing very fast. However, extending the marketing activities in rural areas is challenging as marketers are faced with entirely different set of business environment when marketing in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Though first movers in the rural market command consumer loyalty and retail shelf space but chances of failure of rural marketing strategy is also very high for these first movers. Discovering the distant market early with lowest probability of marketing failure is therefore critical. The marketers can not afford to wait, hoping to tap the potential at some future date. For late entrant, growing competition will make entry into rural markets very difficult. Marketing strategy formulators therefore needs better understanding of organized frame work that helps in developing better understanding of these markets. In present rural marketing environment where rural consumer do not have problem of limited choice, need for a systematic approach to rural marketing is keenly felt. Programme is designed to prepare rural marketing professionals to take up this challenge.

Strategic Food and Agro Marketing:

Agro-food marketing is changing rapidly and it has a vital role to play in coordinating business policies and management processes in the agro-food system. This course provides an awareness of the various policies, strategies, and decisions that can be developed by agribusiness firms in management and marketing problem situations. The focus of the problem situations is agricultural commodities and food stuffs. This course provides participants a sound knowledge of the theoretical and practical elements of agro-food marketing, from commodities to end products. Course also helps in gaining experience in the analysis and design of marketing plans put forward by agro-food firms. The major contents of the course include: Introduction to Food and Agro Marketing, Analyzing Agricultural and Food Markets, Agricultural Prices Determination, Agricultural and Food Marketing Policy Mechanism, Marketing Institutions in Agricultural Markets, Market Power and Efficiency and, Important Issues in Marketing of Certain Agricultural Commodities.

Agricultural Food Policy Analysis:

Agricultural and Food Policy Analysis is an important process which, deals with the public measures that can be taken to influence the competitive structure, operation and performance of one of our largest industries. This course is designed to provide an understanding of basic foundations of agri-food policy, comparative policies and the policy process, which creates a regulatory and conducive environment for agribusiness operations. It also provides a broad understanding of how policy actions in agriculture impact not only farmers’ incomes, but also on the various activities of agro-based organizations, the well being of consumers, the economic viability of rural communities, and the quality and sustainability of agricultural resources.

Quality Management in Agribusiness:

Due to changing consumer requirements, increased competition, environmental issues and governmental interests, food quality management is increasingly becoming important. The course aims to equip students with the necessary skill to recognise, analyse and understand factors in the agri-food processes and in the agri-food chain that influence the quality of agri-food products. This course will enable them to describe, develop and evaluate processes of quality design, quality control and improvement, and to understand and integrate management aspects (e.g. sales and marketing) and technological aspects (e.g. product development, process design, control measures). Major topics covered under course are: The importance of quality and the role of quality assurance in agribusiness, The quality control process and its relevance, Quality grades and standards: overview and relevance, benefits to consumers, producers and food processors, Food grades and standards for various food commodities; cereals, fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry products, Review of statistics relevant to quality control, Quality control charts used in the food industry, Process control to assure food quality, Food processing plant visit; a tour of food processing plants to allow students to integrate theoretical concepts learnt in class with practical applications, Food quality standards and world food trade; how differences in quality regulations in different countries impact world food trade.

Business and Society:

Countless social and ethical issues frame relationship between business and various stakeholders including government and society. Recent rash of scandals involving major corporate giants throughout the world have brought to the attention of public and academia the need to analyze these issues. As corporate India struggles to finds its social and ethical identity in national and global business environment that grows increasingly complex, managers are confronted with exceedingly difficult challenges in balancing their economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities to the variety of stakeholder groups with which they interact. This course addresses these challenges from individual, organizational, managerial, and societal perspectives. The material covered in this course enables participants to deal more effectively with pressures and demands companies experience from a range of stakeholders, such as employees, customers, owners, local communities, governments, pressure groups, suppliers, and the media to name only a few.

Participatory Agricultural Service Management:

This course will focus on participatory learning approaches, which can be applied to knowledge intensive and location-specific agricultural development processes and agricultural service delivery. Course is designed to familiarize students with the participatory agricultural management approaches. In this course, participants gain skill for planning, and managing collective action based farm activities and efficient execution of extension and agricultural service programmes. Through case discussion, course attempts to expose participants with the application of these techniques at various level of agribusiness chain and ensures that participants can correlate use and application of these techniques in corporate business environment.

Management of Micro Financing Institutions:

Micro-finance interventions are well-recognized world over as effective tools for poverty alleviation. In India too, a large number of Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) are operating to provide financial services to rural poor. However, the operations become more complex once a MFI increase its scale of operation and scope of activities. Moreover, a large number of MFIs are still dependent on concessional funding for carrying out their operations, thus putting their sustainability at stake. The course demonstrates the tools and techniques to make these financial institutions sustainable over time.

Livestock Production and Management:

Livestock sector plays a multi-faceted role in socio-economic development of rural households. The importance of livestock goes beyond its food production function. It provides draught power and organic manure to crop sector and hides, skin, bones, blood and fibers to the industrial sector. The inclusion of livestock diversifies and increases total farm production and income, provides year-round employment and disperses risk. Sales of livestock products provide funds for purchasing crop inputs and for financing farm investments. Livestock often form the major capital reserve of farming households and, in general, enhance the economic viability and sustainability of a farming system. Livestock, because of their linkages with the overall farming system, make valuable entry points for wider agricultural development. This course gives students the opportunity to develop the through understanding of domestic and global livestock production system and opportunities of value addition in agribusiness activities through animal based products.