Hyderabad: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) hosted an advanced Training of Trainers Program on ‘Governance, Management and Business Planning for Farmer Producer Organizations’ between 30th July and 3rd August 2018. The Institute sought to provide technical and strategic guidance for sustainability of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
With over 6,000 FPOs in the country, there is a compelling need to understand the workings of FPOs. Successful models can help address teething challenges being faced by FPOs in nascent stages. This advanced training program provided the participants with technical and strategic guidance for ensuring the sustainable growth of FPOs.
Speaking about the importance of this program, Dr. Radhika Rani, Associate Professor at NIRDPR who heads the Centre for Agrarian Studies and anchored the training program, said, “The program aimed to discuss all the issues and challenges that lie ahead of FPO promoters with a 360-degree approach; providing technical solutions in terms of Business Planning, Value Chain Development of the commodities being dealt in by the FPOs; and meeting statutory compliances of their Producer Companies.”
The training program specifically targeted Producer Organization Promotion Institutions and Resource Institutions of FPOs spread across the country and line functionaries of State governments who are into building the FPOs. It is also aimed at Bankers and Financial Institutions. The content of the training program was diverse and covered the following themes:
Ø Issues and challenges in the governance and management of FPOs,
Ø Building operationally sustainable value chain development plans – identification of common mistakes and corrective actions,
Ø Bottom-up business plan for FPOs with standard practices of developing the business plan,
Ø Issues, challenges and opportunities in convergence with diversified stakeholders,
Ø Micro Enterprise strategies for FPOs to leverage the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and its social capital, and
Ø Developing contextual 1-year action plans for each of the FPOs with log framework
The participants of the training program were exposed to a one-day field visit to Swakrushi Farmer Producer Company in Warangal for the demonstration of a successful model of an FPO.
By the end of the training program, the trainees were trained to provide strategic direction to already formed as well as upcoming FPOs and draft value chain development plans for the FPO team members. In addition, they are now trained to help develop business plans and guide the FPOs on strategic linkages with Banks and Agri-Business companies. Finally, the training program enabled the trainees to contribute to operationally and financially sustain the FPOs in the long run.
Elaborating on the training, Dr. Nithya V.G., Assistant Professor, Centre for Agrarian Studies (CAS), NIRDPR, said, “This training program was designed while keeping in mind the existing gaps in technical and capacity building support available to the FPOs in the country. It endeavored to equip the trainees to diagnose these problems and challenges.”
The FPO Cell at NIRDPR is established with the intent of providing comprehensive mentoring services for the FPOs in the Country. It will be functioning as a knowledge partner on wide ranging thematic areas of FPOs that have been identified as having long term impacts on the sustainability of FPOs.