Practice Manager, South Asia, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank Group
Loraine Ronchi is a Practice Manager for South Asia in the Food and Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank Group (WBG). Prior to joining South Asia, she led the Global Agribusiness team in the Industry Solutions group of the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation (FCI) Global Practice. She was the WBG’s first Global Solutions Lead for Value Chains and Agribusiness, a cross-WBG role she held from 2015-2017. While Global Lead, she set up the cross-WBG Global Solutions Group (GSG) for Value Chains and Agribusiness, growing to a membership of almost 300 staff cross 5 GPs and the IFC. Her focus as Global Lead was on regional cross-fertilization and cross-WBG solution creation in the agribusiness space. In her 14 years at the WBG, she has led agriculture programs and policy dialogue on the agricultural sector from both headquarters and country office based in East Africa. She also served as technical lead for agribusiness private sector development in the IFC’s advisory services for three years. As such, her expertise in value chain development spans from farm to fork. Before joining the WBG, Loraine worked in the coffee and cocoa sectors in research, impact evaluation, and technical assistance capacities with private sector coffee and chocolate companies. She holds an MPhil in Economics from Oxford University, and her Ph.D. in Economics is from Sussex University, U.K.
Rajan M. Bajracharya
Founder, GeoKrishi Initiative, Nepal
Rajan M. Bajracharya has a unique blend of engineering and management experiences. He has worked as an international development professional for more than 12 years, mainly using technologies to address some of the societal benefit areas to solve environmental and livelihood challenges in the region. During his tenure, Rajan has been proactive in simplifying complex scientific methodologies and closing the gap between theory and practices through digital tools and technologies. With his progressive experience of 18 years in data, information, and knowledge management, his contributions were valuable in mainstreaming many science-based decision support systems in the sector like agriculture, climate monitoring, disaster management, energy, health and ICT. Rajan is the founder of GeoKrishi initiative, Managing Director/CEO of private-sector technology company Pathway Technologies P. Ltd., and Chairperson of Digital Data System for Development, a non-governmental organization to democratize digital data infrastructure. Since it’s inception in late 2017, GeoKrishi has helped more than 12,000 farmers gain access to the agriculture extension and advisories, supported 20 local youth champions get leadership training, and has helped in providing mentorship to agriprenures, transforming their farms into enterprises. Rajan has a degree in computer science and engineering, geo-informatics and is enrolled in a postgraduate degree in agricultural extension.
Agriculture Advisory and Digital Transformation for SMEs, GeoKrishi
Swapnil Chaudhari has over 12 years of experience in leading conservation and development programs in South Asia, Hindu Kush Himalaya, Africa, and Europe. He holds a Masters in Ecology degree from Pondicherry Central University, India, and an M Phil in Conservation Leadership degree from the University of Cambridge, UK. Over the years, he has served in different capacities with local, regional, national, and international agencies working on climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and ecological agriculture. Recently, he was the Regional Program Officer for Kailash Sacred Transboundary Landscape Program in India, Nepal, and the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, where he was instrumental in bringing policy and practical changes to manage the biodiversity in high altitude areas of the Himalayas. He is well-traveled, has worked on marine turtles, Asian mega faunas, and grassland birds of the Deccan plateau. In 2020, he established the Resilience Environmental Solution (RES), a consulting firm, which strengthens the organizational capacities of non-profits in South Asia. With GeoKrishi he is developing a strategic cooperation to expand the network of partners and is assessing the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of GeoKrishi.
Purna Bahadur Chhetri
Senior Agriculture Specialist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Purna Chhetri is a senior agricultural specialist with the World Bank. Based in the Kathmandu Office, Purna is currently involved in a number of operations related to agriculture, irrigation, food security, and climate-smart initiatives. Before he joined the World Bank, Purna worked for FAO in South Sudan, the World Conservation Union in East Africa and South Asia, CARE International in Sri Lanka and Nepal, and led a multi-sectoral program in Afghanistan as head of the institution for Afghan Aid. He holds a Master's and a Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University.
Anupa Aryal Pant
Private Sector Specialist, The World Bank
Anupa Aryal Pant is the Private Sector Specialist at the World Bank, based in Washington D.C. She brings over 17 years of experience in agribusiness entrepreneurship and innovation, including enterprise development, competitiveness, and digitization of value chains—acquired working in over several countries spanning Africa, Asia and Central America. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked as an Agribusiness Specialist at International Finance Corporation, Sub Sector Advisor in GIZ and as a Relationship Manager at Nepal Investment Bank. Also a business educator, she taught Marketing at the National Campus for Business Studies, Nepal. Anupa is a graduate of the Masters of Science in Information Systems from Central Michigan University and the Masters in Business Administration from Kathmandu University.