Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary inaugurated professional training programmes designed and developed for CEOs, Board of Directors, Accountants of FPOs on the occasion of the anniversary of the Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)’.
This formation of 10,000 FPOs scheme will promote the selling of farmers produce from the farm gate of farmers thereby enhanced farmers’ income. This will shorten the supply chain and accordingly marketing cost will get reduced resulting in better income for farmers.
It will accelerate more investment in marketing and value addition infrastructure near to farm gate creating more employment opportunities for rural youth.
The scheme was launched by Prime Minister on 29.02.2020 at Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) with a budgetary provision of Rs 6865 crore. Shri Rupala also distributed certificates of registration issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to new FPOs.
There are well-defined training structures in the scheme and the institutions like Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow and Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Co-operative Research & Development (LINAC), Gurugram have been chosen as the lead training institutes for capacity development & training of FPOs. Training & skill development modules have been developed to further strengthen FPOs.
Addressing the gathering Shri Rupala said FPOS will make farming more viable by aggregating land. He said that the formation of FPOs is not just a scheme but it is a plan to give a new dimension to Indian Agriculture in a new India.
Choudhary described the scheme as revolutionary and said that it will bring transformation in farmers’ life. He advised the officials to bring out a pocketbook on guidelines for the formation of FPOs in regional language so that more and more farmers know about it.
Sanjay Agrawal, Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that in each block there should be an FPO which acts as catalyst for institutional infrastructure.
More than 2200 FPOs produce clusters have been allocated for the formation of FPOs in the current year, of which 100 FPOs for specialized Organic produce, 100 FPOs from Oilseeds & 50 commodity-specific FPOs with value chain development will be formed. In addition to SFAC, NABARD & NCDC, 06 more implementing agencies have been approved for the formation and promotion of FPOs.
Implementing Agencies (IAs) are engaging Cluster-Based Business Organizations (CBBOs) to aggregate, register & provide professional handholding support to each FPO for a period of 5 years. CBBOs will be the platform for an end to end knowledge for all issues related to FPO promotion. FPOs are already being registered in the UT of Kashmir, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and also in North Eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh. In other states, it is in progress. Registered FPOs are dealing with Apple, almond, honey, tea, groundnut, cotton, soybean, Linseed, sugarcane, vegetables etc.
FPOs will be provided financial assistance up to Rs 18.00 lakh per FPO for a period of 03 years. In addition to this, provision has been made for matching equity grant up to Rs. 2,000 per farmer member of FPO with a limit of Rs. 15.00 lakh per FPO and a credit guarantee facility up to Rs. 2 crores of project loan per FPO from the eligible lending institution to ensure institutional credit accessibility to FPOs.
At the National level, National Project Management Agency (NPMA) as a professional organization has been engaged for providing overall project guidance, coordination, compilation of information relating to FPOs, maintenance of MIS and monitoring purpose.
FPOs are to be developed in produce clusters, wherein agricultural and horticultural produces are grown/cultivated for leveraging economies of scale and improving market access for members. “One District One Product” cluster will promote specialization and better processing, marketing, branding & export. Further Agriculture value chain organizations are forming FPOs and are facilitating 60% of market linkages for members produce.