Since its inception, the management of the agri-food sector has been a key thrust area for IIMA. To forward this vision, a small group called the Agco Group was set up in 1963 to address the challenges faced by the agricultural sector and cooperatives. The Agco Group was re-designed into the Centre for Management in Agriculture (CMA) in 1971. The goal of CMA has been to aid in the process of modernization of the agri-food sector by using concepts of management science.
In the initial years, the focus of research was in understanding the roles played by public and cooperative organizations in the areas of block development administration, cooperatives, rural development and the high-yielding varieties programme. Over time, the research activity of the Centre has expanded to study the problems and growth possibilities of organizations supplying inputs and services to the agri-food sector as well as for procurement, processing, and marketing of farm and allied produce. Given that the Indian food and agribusiness sector is facing numerous challenges due to globalization, the rapid pace of technological change like biotechnology and GMOs, the changing business environment and the rapidly evolving role of government, CMA has carried out research in these areas to address some of the issues in the recent past.