Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary inaugurated professional training programmes designed for CEOs, Board of Directors, and Accountants of FPOs on the anniversary of the Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organisations (FPOs)’. The scheme was unveiled by Prime Minister on 29th February, 2020 at Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) with a budgetary provision of Rs 6865 crore. 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 such as Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow and Laxmanrao Inamdar National Academy for Co-operative Research and Development (LINAC), Gurugram have been selected as the lead training institutes for capacity development & training of FPOs. Training and skill development modules have been developed to further boost FPOs.

Rupala stated that FPOs will make farming more viable by aggregating land. He informed that the formation of FPOs is not just a scheme but it’s a plan to give a new horizon to Indian Agriculture sector.

Choudhary declared the scheme as revolutionary and stated that it will bring transformation in farmers’ life. He suggested the officials to bring out a pocketbook on guidelines for the formation of FPOs in regional language so that more and more farmers become aware about it.

Sanjay Agrawal, secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said that in each block there should be an FPO which serves as catalyst for institutional infrastructure.

Over 2,200 FPOs produce clusters have been allocated for the formation of FPOs in the present year, of which 100 FPOs for specialized Organic produce, 100 FPOs from Oilseeds and 50 commodity-specific FPOs with value chain development will be formed. Apart from SFAC, NABARD and NCDC, 06 more implementing agencies have been approved for the formation and promotion of FPOs.

Implementing Agencies (IAs) are engaging Cluster-Based Business Organisations (CBBOs) to aggregate, register and offer professional handholding assistance to each FPO for 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, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and also in North Eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh. Registered FPOs are dealing with Apple, almond, cotton, groundnut, honey, Linseed, soybean, sugarcane, tea, vegetables etc.

FPOs will be provided financial aid of upto Rs 18 lakh per FPO for 03 years. Furthermore, provision has been made for matching equity grant up to Rs 2,000 per farmer member of FPO with a limit of Rs 15 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 involved in offering overall project guidance, coordination, compilation of information relating to FPOs, maintenance of MIS and monitoring purpose.

‘One District One Product’ cluster will advocate specialization and better processing, marketing, branding and export. Additionally, Agriculture value chain organizations are forming FPOs and are facilitating 60% of market linkages for members produce.

This formation of 10,000 FPOs scheme will promote the selling of farmers produce from the farm gate of farmers thus enhancing farmers’ income. This will make the supply chain shorter and accordingly marketing cost will be cut down leading to better income for farmers. It will speed up the investment in marketing and value addition infrastructure near to farm gate generating more job opportunities for rural youth.

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