IIMA - Course Catalogue
Economics of Food Quality
Prof. Satish Deodhar
Course Description & Objectives
Motivation and Objectives:
The 1991 liberalization process and the subsequent food related agreements concluded under the purview of WTO were harbingers of a freer food trade. In this new environment, while the price-competitiveness plays its role, there is a heightened concern about quality-competitiveness of food products. India seems to face asymmetric trade opportunities. While fall in international prices leads to imports, rise in those prices does not necessarily lead to significant export enhancement or import substitution due to quality issues. In fact, price-competitiveness seems to reflect price-discounting on account of poor quality.
Given this background, prospective managers from food industry need to understand the strategic importance of food quality. The course aims at imparting quality management concepts in general and food quality management in particular with reference to issues such as cost of quality, consumer perceptions and hedonic price analysis, measurement of willingness to pay for quality enhancements as brought about through genetically modified foods, food labeling issues related to „credence-good‟ nature of foods, and, evaluation of government policies such as the Mid Day Meal scheme addressing nutritional security of the disadvantaged sections of society. I also highlight the association between crop quality and the need for 24-hour weather forecast on TV which would be a pure public good.
The course also familiarizes students with the recent hi-tech farming practices (HTFP) which have a strong lab to land R&D backup. HTFP, also known as Smart Farming, includes concepts such as precision farming and digital farming. Sessions will bring out the saving of input costs for fertilizers and power coupled with quality and productivity gains. The sessions will also highlight enhancement of environmental quality and inclusiveness of the technology for small farmers.
All sessions will be interactive in nature using research outputs, journal articles, case studies, and book chapters, and student projects.
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