Dr. Prabhat D. (Pete) Desai (Vice Chair)


Dr. P. D. (Pete) Desai is President of Desai & Desai Inc., a consulting company he started in January 2001 after his retirement from Dow AgroSciences. Dr. Desai had a long and successful 27-year career at Dow Chemical, DowElanco and Dow AgroSciences. His various roles provided him with an excellent understanding of research, sales, marketing, business and consumer needs.

Dr. Desai grew up on his family farm in Belgaum, India, attended the University of Poona to study agriculture; completed Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia (1969) and PhD at University of Guelph in Plant protection (1972).

Since his retirement in 2001, Dr. Desai’s main focus is in supporting start up agricultural companies and grower / Department organizations to develop and implement strategic business plans; build research partnerships to develop technology / products with strategic action plans to align them with funding and industry partners.

He has dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge with startup agricultural companies and organizations. Dr. Desai has volunteered on over 15 boards, offering his expertise and knowledge as a way to give back to society. He has chosen to contribute in this way becaus e of his deep appreciation for the opportunities the agricultural industry has given to him throughout his career.

As president of M21, Dr. Desai supports Canadian mustard producers and industry association to develop new, high yielding mustard varieties to ensure a sustainable mustard industry. Dr. Desai has served on many Boards, including:

  • Genome Canada (Ottawa, Ontario) Chair of Genome Prairie, (Calgary, AB)
  • Governing Board of CAB International, (Wallingford, UK) Okanagan Specialty Fruits, (Summerland,BC)
  • Ag-West Bio Inc. (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
  • Chair, Plant Biotechnology Institute Advisory Board, NRC (Saskatoon, SK) PEI BIO Alliance (Charlottetown, PEI)
  • Industry Review Committee – AAFC AOP (Ottawa, ON)
  • Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee (Federal Govt. Ottawa, Canada) Mustard Products Technology Inc. Saskatoon, SK
  • ASTech Foundation (Calgary, AB) BioAlberta, (Edmonton, AB)
  • BioControl Network – NSERC Centre of Excellence (Montreal, PQ) Alberta Science Research Authority (ASRA, Alberta Govt., Edmonton, AB) Alberta Agriculture Research Institute (AARI, Edmonton, Alberta)
  • Alberta Research Council (Edmonton, AB)
  • Crop Development Centre, University of SK (Saskatoon, SK)

Recent work:

  • Member of the Blue Ribbon Panel for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, to review the AAFC research program in June 2003.
  • Member of Flax 2015 – Develop Flax 2015 Strategy for the Flax Council of Canada 2007.
  • Developed the Mustard 21 Strategic Plan for the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission (SMDC) and Canadian Mustard Association 2007 – 2009.