SFAC’s Schemes Em­pow­er­ing Farmer Pro­ducer Or­gan­i­sa­tions

Small Farm­ers’ Agri-Busi­ness Con­sor­tium rolls out the Eq­uity Grant and Credit Guar­an­tee Funds Scheme in sev­eral states in­clud­ing Ra­jasthan. Schemes aims to pro­vide greater strength to Farmer Pro­ducer Or­gan­i­sa­tions (FPOs).

Rural & Marketing - - AGRI-BUSINESS - R&M Re­ports

Farm­ers fra­ter­nity can­not progress if they do not con­sol­i­date their po­si­tion­ing in the econ­omy with the lat­est trends and tech­niques. With this as­sump­tion, Farmer Pro­ducer Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FPO) came into ex­is­tence and pos­i­tive out­comes are not far to see. Strength­en­ing the FPOs is the main chal­lenge for em­pow­er­ing the farm­ing com­mu­nity of the coun­try and sev­eral schemes have been launched to sup­port them.

An FPO is com­pany set up by pro­duc­ers of agri­cul­tural com­modi­ties, and is typ­i­cally pro­moted by farm­ers, run by farm­ers and for the ben­e­fit of farm­ers. The ob­jec­tive of such a firm is to im­prove re­turns to farm­ers through col­lec­tive in­put pur­chases and col­lec­tive mar­ket­ing be­sides en­hanc­ing qual­ity by in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity through bet­ter in­puts, and in­creas­ing the knowl­edge base of farm­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Agri­cul­ture Min­istry of­fi­cials, the ba­sic ob­jec­tive of the FPO con­cept is to link small farm­ers to tech­nol­ogy as well as to the mar­kets in as­so­ci­a­tion with private, cor­po­rate or co­op­er­a­tive sec­tor and if nec­es­sary, by pro­vid­ing back­ward and for­ward link­ages. That is where the need comes to bring in cor­po­rate struc­ture to in­duce gov­er­nance and mon­i­tor­ing.

It is widely ad­mit­ted that the ma­jor weak­ness of FPOs is lack of aware­ness about the con­cept among pro­duc­ers, cor­po­rate sec­tor, in­put sup­pli­ers, com­mer­cial banks, dis­trict level and agri­cul­ture de­part­ment of­fi­cials. Sev­eral re­ports sug­gested that ma­jor hur­dles lie in com­plex re­quire­ments, rang­ing from reg­is­tra­tion to an­nual fil­ing of in­for­ma­tion, lack of ac­cess to cap­i­tal, par­tic­u­larly work­ing cap­i­tal, need for both back­ward and for­ward link­ages. Be­sides, poli­cies that im­pede the growth of FPOs are mandi laws, co­op­er­a­tive reg­u­la­tion, ten­ancy pro­vi­sions,

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