Dilip N. Kulkarni

Dilip N. Kulkarni

President Agri Food Division and Sustainable Agriculture

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd

Biography

Dr. Kulkarni serves as the President of Jain Irrigation’s agro and food processing group. Dr. Kulkarni has been instrumental in the development of Jain Irrigation’s sustainability program across the value chain. He is involved in developing and implementing new programs in agriculture and food processing. He oversees the work to build value chain operations with small and medium farmers for mango and white onions leading to Jain being India’s largest exporter of dried onion and mango pulp in addition to being a strategic partner for Coca Cola in India. Dr. Kulkarni is also active in Jain’s massive R&D operations, which focus on best applications of drip irrigation to a wide range of crops, and research into improved methods and inputs to maximize the impact of drip irrigation on productivity and water savings. He is responsible for developing linkages with other organizations including public private partnership programs with Government of States with in India and also with country governments internationally. He also coordinates company activities with chambers and professional associations and government agencies for strategic policy developments. He is recipient of several awards and certificates, among them are TATA scholar 1978; N.M. Mohan Award, 1984; IFCON prize 1998; M.A.U. Commemorial Award 1996; Rashtriya Gowrav Award 2001; Govt. of Maharashtra Sanman Patra 2002. IFC Inclusive Agri- business Leader 2011 and 2012. Dr. Kulkarni graduated in agriculture with first class distinction in 1972 and earned a fellowship of FAO to acquire his Master’s degree with distinction in Food Technology from CFTRI, Mysore in 1974 and a Ph.D. Dr. Kulkarni joined as lecturer of Food Technology at the Institute of Applied Science and Technology at Dharan, Nepal. He later joined his alma mater as Professor and head of Food Science and Technology, Marathwada Agricultural University to establish India’s first-degree program in Food Technology. Dr. Kulkarni was a DANIDA Fellow in Denmark, consultant in Indonesia, advisor and visiting professor in Mauritius, visiting professor to the Chinese academy of sciences in China. Dr. Kulkarni has been a member of several subgroups of the Planning Commission, the Swaminathan Committee, and ICAR National Coordinator for Food Technology. He has been a member of numerous bodies including the expert group in the area of secondary agriculture of biotechnology, as well as the Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission for Food Technology Park.

Jain Irrigation is a pioneer in the field of drip irrigation technology and introduced it in India in the 1980s. Since then, Jain has become the world’s second largest drip irrigation company, with a turnover of about US$1 billion and over 8,000 employees including 1,000 abroad. Jain manufactures drip and sprinkler irrigation systems and components, integrated irrigation automation systems, PVC and PE piping systems, plastic sheets, greenhouses, bio-fertilizers, solar water-heating systems, biogas plants, wind hybrid energy and photovoltaic systems. JISL also processes dehydrated, concentrated and frozen fruits and vegetables. Jain drip irrigation has increased agricultural yields for over 2.5 million Indian farmers, with increased earnings by up to US$6,000 per acre. With new applications of drip irrigation to rice, among other crops, a new method of growing mangoes, introduction of banana tissue culture technology, onion and mango processing, JISL has successfully expanded its agribusiness operations as well. JISL has built fruit and vegetable value chains with 25,000 small farmers, 90% of whom work with less than one hectare of land. JISL is also associated with 6000 agro entrepreneurs, including 3000 dealers selling its products and services; this in addition to about 2000 banana growers who sell banana tissue cultures to others to become agro entrepreneurs and thousands of individual growers who progressed from subsistence farming to commercial farming participating and influencing commercial value chain.

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