Platform for farmers

Parveen Arora

With the goal of strengthening the agriculture sector and doubling farmers’ earnings, the Union Government plans to arrange 10,000 new farmer producer organisations (FPOs) throughout the nation with new tips.

The FPO, a gaggle of farmers coping with enterprise actions associated to farm produce, works for the advantage of members, together with small, marginal and girls farmers. Presently, there are over 450 FPOs with greater than 76,000 farmers in Haryana. Of them, round 30,000 acquired themselves registered on the IT portal of the Small Farmer Agri-business Consortium Haryana (SFACH), a nodal company taking care of the FPOs’ formation and administration within the state.

According to a survey carried out by The Tribune, a lot of the FPOs within the state are dealing with challenges corresponding to a prolonged and expensive course of to avail certification for natural farming, problem in getting mortgage, no acceptable value of produce, low productiveness in natural farming, and insufficient information of the market.

“We had started an FPO with 100 members. Now, we have 600 members, of which 150 are involved in chemical-free/organic farming of desi wheat and paddy. We applied for a certificate for organic farming around four years ago, but it is a cumbersome affair for a farmer. It should be cost-effective,” says SP Tomar, vice-chairman of Horticulture Farmer Producer Company Limited, Karnal.

He say farmers have little consciousness in regards to the branding of their produce. “The members who cultivated organic wheat and paddy witnessed a downfall in production in the first three years as the soil takes time to gain fertility without fertilisers,” he provides.

Vikas Chaudhary, director, Progrowers Producer Company Limited, Taraori, and different members of the FPO needed to face hiccups. They couldn’t get a mortgage from a financial institution as they don’t have any property to mortgage. “We are 372 members. We have to fight hard for several months to get a bank loan,” he rues. He, nonetheless, says that now, with the help of the Horticulture Department and SFACH, they acquired a undertaking of the crop cluster growth programme, below which they’ll course of and bundle tomato merchandise.

Dr Paras Ram, Agri-business Manager (FPO), SFACH, claims Haryana is witnessing a great response as farmers are exhibiting curiosity in becoming a member of the FPOs. “The state government has mandated to form FPOs for agriculture-related activities. In 2018, while fixing the targets for Parivartan blocks, the state decided to form 10 FPOs in each of the 46 Parivartan blocks and assigned this work to SFACH with the objective of strengthening the farmers’ capacity and skills for bargaining in trade practices of agri-business, to provide marketing linkages, facilitating access to fair and remunerative markets, including linking of producer groups to marketing opportunities through market aggregators and employment generation,” he provides.

He says SFACH had signed an MoU with NABCON (NABARD Consultancy Services) for administration and offering incentives to 13 FPOs. As a outcome, these FPOs are engaged in numerous agri-business actions and have important enterprise turnover as start-ups.

NABARD can also be enjoying an important function on this undertaking. Abhimanyu Malik, District Development Manager, NABARD, Karnal, says since round 85 per cent of farmers are small and marginal and the common landholding measurement has shrunk to 1.08 hectare, farmers want to come back collectively to reap the advantages of collectivisation.

Battling roadblocks

Many FPOs based mostly in Haryana are dealing with points corresponding to prolonged, expensive course of to avail certification for natural farming, problem in getting financial institution loans, unremunerative value of produce, and insufficient information of the market.

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