New Delhi: Agri Export Policy announced by Government of India with “Farmers’ Centric Approach” suggests for developing product specific clusters in the country to help improving productivity and quality of the varieties of crops with special involvement of Farm Producer Organizations(FPOs).
FPOs are an institutional innovation to help small holders to reduce cost of produce by procuring necessary inputs in bulk at wholesale rates, aggregation of produce and bulk transport reducing marketing cost etc. and extend their reach to modern technology and distant markets. The policy also aims at addressing the obstacles faced by FPOs through organisation like Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) and State level organizations to expand FPO network.
APEDA has been focusing on collaborative approach to bring synergy with such organizations and has been engaged with them for mutually working together in the development of agriculture and allied sectors and its exports for bringing better value to the stakeholders.
APEDA has been in dialog with SFAC for linking of Farmer Producer organizations, farmers’ cooperatives to the export value chain through capacity building, production of the quality produce as per the requirement of importing countries, creation of infrastructure, facilitating primary and secondary processing in the clusters and also by linking them to the exporters.
To bring in better synergy in the activities, APEDA has signed MoU with SFAC on 18th March 2020. The MoU was signed by Ms. Neelkamal Darbari, Managing Director SFAC and Mr. Paban Kumar Borthakur, Chairman, APEDA.
Areas of cooperation:
SFAC to share list of all clusters in various states with APEDA for achieving scale and aggregation with export orientation. APEDA and SFAC to jointly work together to link up the FPOs/FPCs with the exporters to achieve the goal and doubling the farmers income as well.
To work towards capacity development, outreach programs, awareness programs and workshops of various stakeholders.
To work together to showcase to the Indian and Global Market, the products, technologies, processes, knowledge and services by the FPO sector stakeholders through variety of modes as may be identified by them from time to time.
APEDA to facilitate certification of organic produce /areas by the FPCs assisted or identified by SFAC.
To take-up an Agri Business Promotion Unit in the North East and to mentor and handhold the FPOs in North East.
It is expected that with the approach of joint collaboration with the organizations like SFAC, APEDA will be able to reach to a large farmer base for improving the production base of agri products quantitatively and qualitatively both for maintaining the consistency of supply and establish an image of quality supplier in the International market leading to increase in export volume and value and indirectly contribute to doubling of farmers’ income.
A brief about the organizations is as follows:
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), is an authority established under an act of parliament and under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. It has been mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the scheduled products viz. Fruits, Vegetables and their Products, Meat and Meat Products, Poultry and Poultry Products, Dairy Products, Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products, Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products, Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds, Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Cereal and Cereal Products, Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts, Pickles, Papads and Chutneys, Guar Gum, Floriculture and Floriculture Products, Herbal and Medicinal Plants. In addition to this, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC):
It is pioneer in organising small and marginal farmers as Farmers Interest Groups, Farmers Producers Organisation and Farmers Producers Company for endowing them with bargaining power and economies of scale. It provides a platform for increased accessibility and cheaper availability of agricultural inputs to small and marginal farmers and in establishing forward and backward linkages in supply chain management. This initiative has triggered mobilization of farmers for aggregation across the country with ultimate aim of sustainable business model and augmented incomes. The Society has been entrusted with the task of implementation of the critically important Delhi Kisan Mandi and National Agriculture Market Scheme on e-platform to progressively free agricultural trade and offer price discovery to farmers. Currently there around 1000 FPOs/FPCs registered with SFAC.
Schemes of SFAC for FPOs support is to the equity base of FPCs by providing matching equity grants and Credit Guarantee support for facilitating collateral free lending to FPCs. The main objectives of Equity Grant Fund are enhancing viability and sustainability of FPCs, increasing credit worthiness, enhancing the shareholding of members to increase their ownership and participation in their FPC. The equity grant support to eligible FPCs is provided by the SFAC on matching basis.