Global Lead, Data-Driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, climate-smart agriculture, Agriculture and technology-enabled start-ups, venture and patient capital for innovation, promotion of on-farm, off-farm, and digital jobs and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a global program on scaling up data-driven digital agriculture involving data platforms and establishing ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, CropIn
Kunal Prasad is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at CropIn. He is also a Member of the Board and Managing Director of its Dutch subsidiary which handles the international agriculture development sector. He has over 13 years of experience in the technical and management arena with substantial work in sales and business development, project management, product and customer experience. Kunal’s strengths lie in his strong team management skills and his tenacious attitude that has helped CropIn reach out to over 4 million farmers in 56 countries. He is passionate about working on improving farm productivity, climate resilience, sustainability and food security. He has extensive experience in working with Government bodies, Development Agencies, Co-operatives and farmer groups globally. He believes that farming should be data-driven and collaborative, and so he is on a mission to digitize 20 million farmers by 2025.
Director of Development Programs, CropIn
Arjun Goyal is the Director of Development Programmes at CropIn's leading international agriculture development sector portfolio based out of The Hague, Netherlands. He is a former UNDP officer where he served as a Project Design & Partnership officer. Arjun has more than more 10 years of experience in program design, business development, and building strategic partnerships with the UN agencies and missions, global developmental agencies, governments, and multilateral institutions, International Organizations, and NGOs in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has led programme design teams and executed large scale donor led projects in climate change and finance, digital technologies, poverty graduation and agriculture livelihoods, access to markets and access to finance, circular economy and waste management. He is an alumnus of IIM Ahemdabad (MBA), has a law graduate from the Faculty of Law (University of Delhi), and has completed his civil engineering from BIT Mesra, Ranchi.
Program Officer, Extension and Capacity Building, The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Qureish Noordin works with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) as a Program Officer – Extension and Capacity Building, supporting activities in the 11 AGRA focal Countries. He has a wealth of experience and hands-on experience spanning close to 30 years working with rural communities and diverse partners in rural development spheres, participatory extension methodologies, and sustainable farming. At AGRA, he is engaged in scaling the private sector-led extension approach and efforts on digitalization of the Village Based Advisors. Qureish is a Kenyan citizen by birth and holds an MPhil degree (Forestry) from Moi University, Kenya
Senior Agriculture Specialist, South Asia Region, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Priti Kumar is a Senior Agriculture Specialist in the World Bank Group in India. She started her career in the Bank as an environment safeguards specialist supporting about 20 operations in Agriculture, Rural Development, and Water Sectors and then became a Team Leader of several innovative programs and investment operations. Her key areas of interest are rural and agriculture transformation, natural resources and watershed development, women’s empowerment, and climate change. From 2019-2021, she led the preparation of the first multi-state Program-for-Results operation for India on a next-generation watersheds program that focuses on evidence-based planning using innovative land and land-use digital portals and decision support systems. She was Program Manager of the World Bank’s multi-sector programs on climate change in the Maldives and Bangladesh from 2010-2013 financed through multi-donor trust funds. Her operational work from 2009-2013 on the Nepal Biogas Program supported by a range of Results-Based Mechanisms including Carbon Finance cutting across the energy, climate, and environment sectors received the SDN Vice President’s award in 2013. From 2014 to the present, she has led GEF-6, IDA, and IBRD investment projects on small-holder agriculture that, among other things, implements ag-tech and fin-tech solutions for rural communities in irrigation asset planning, weather-based advisories, and agricultural marketing and finance. Throughout her career in the Bank, she has worked in the South Asia Sustainable Development Network: in the Environment Sector (2000-2012); the Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Sector (2012-2014); and Agriculture and Food Practice (2014 to present). Ms. Kumar holds a Master’s in Systems Engineering focusing on groundwater systems from the University of Waterloo, Canada; a Master’s in Mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi; and a Bachelor’s in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Delhi, India. Prior to the Bank, she gained experience for nine years in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, and IFIs.
Katie Kennedy Freeman
Senior Agriculture Economist, Africa Region, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Katie joined the World Bank in 2012 as a Young Professional. She spent her first year working on energy access issues in Africa with the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) and subsequent years in the Latin America and Caribbean region on issues related to climate smart agriculture, risk management, on-farm circular economy, biomass to energy, productive uses of energy for agriculture, agro-logistics, cold-chain development, and digital agriculture. Prior to joining the Bank, Katie worked at the Earth Institute at Columbia University implementing energy access and digital agriculture programs in Africa and Haiti and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supporting agricultural value-chain development programs in East Africa. Katie holds a Master’s degree in Political and Economic Development from the Harvard Kennedy School and is working towards a PhD in Farming Systems Ecology from the University of Wageningen with a focus on nutrient cycling technologies for on-farm circular economy in Uruguay. Katie started her career as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) working with coffee farmers on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Marie Agnes Jouanjean
Economist, Data-Driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Marie-Agnès Jouanjean is an Economist with the Agriculture and Food Global Practice at the World Bank. She focuses on data-driven and digital agriculture, exploring how digital technologies can support the transformation of agri-food systems in developing countries, and the role of governments to maximize efficiency, equity, and environmental sustainability outcomes. Prior to joining the World Bank, Marie-Agnès worked at the OECD where she developed policy-oriented analysis on various dimensions of digital technologies in agriculture and trade as well as on Global Value Chains (GVCs). She also worked for a Think Tank (Overseas Development Institute (ODI)) and a range of International Organisations on barriers to trade (infrastructure, services, NTMs), regional integration, the economics of resilience, and climate change adaptation. Marie-Agnès holds a Ph.D. in International Economics from Sciences Po Paris, which she did in collaboration with the research center, LICOS, in KULeuven. She also has a degree as an Agronomist (IRC-CNEARC/Montpellier SupAgro and ENSAIO National School of Agronomics and Food Industry).