Participants drive the success of any role-playing exercise, and Food Chain Reaction will be no exception. To model real-world situations and global reaction as accurately as possible, we’ve brought together high-level decision makers from all over the world, representing nations, international institutions, and the private sector. This group will collaborate, negotiate, make decisions, and confront trade-offs while dealing with a chain reaction of consequences resulting from their actions.
Our player profile series showcases some of the many participants who have generously given their time, energy, and enthusiasm to helping make Food Chain Reaction a success.
Q & A with Yoginder K. Alagh, Central University of Gujarat
Why is food security important to you and your organization?
Food security is very important for India, as its growth rate is 6 percent-plus annually. Our experience is that at that pace of growth, food prices increase by 10 percent annually or more; leading to food inflation which is a barrier to growth. Millions of farmers, particularly small land holders and land-less laborers, are nutritionally at risk, leading to serious welfare losses and productivity improvement bottlenecks.
If you could do one thing to create a more food secure future what would it be?
Earth satellite pictures show that India has the largest and most widespread network of agricultural markets in the world. Millions of farmers move from small villages to larger villages and to small towns to meet rising food demand–particularly sugar, oil and animal husbandry, and horticulture products. I would create infrastructure with improved communication, decentralized supply of high quality agricultural inputs, first stage agroprocessing arrangements, and above all, marketing and improved facilities for these communities at the earliest.
What do you hope to achieve through Food Chain Reaction?
I hope to increase awareness of the fact that food security is vital for India’s economic and social problems in a direct visible sense, and convince influential opinion that action is needed now.
Yoginder K. Alagh is Chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat and Professor Emeritus /Vice-chair, Sardar Patel Institute of Economic and Social Research in Ahmedabad. From 1996 to 1998, he was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Planning and Programme Implementation, Science, Technology and Power, and until 2001, Member of the Rajya Sabha. He was Vice-Chancellor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Member Planning Commission, Chairman BICP and Secretary to the Government and Chairman APC.
Dr. Alagh’s professional experience is related to research, policy-making and administration of large research/policy formulation professional groups relating to macro policy and planning, industrial policies and reform, and agricultural planning and policy. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia. He has taught at that University, IIM Calcutta, and at Swarthmore College.