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AGRICULTURE

Need to link farmers to value chain to encourage agri entrepreneurship
Monday, 04 June, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
S K Pattanayak, secretary, ministry of agriculture, cooperation and farmers’ welfare, Government of India, said that there was a need to connect farmers to a value chain as this will help them to become agri entrepreneurs.

He was speaking at a conference titled Development of Linkages for Sustainability of FPOs, which was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) in New Delhi recently.
 
“The farmer producer organisation (FPO) scheme is one of the opportunities in the hands of the farmers to connect to a value chain and enhance their incomes and empower themselves. Credit needs to reach farmers to ensure they follow successful business models,” said Pattanayak.

The SFAC FPO buyer e-interface was also launched on the occasion. Its objectives are to help farmers get the right prices for their produce and aid them in doubling their incomes.

The FPO Buyer E-interface is a first of its kind portal dedicated to connect FPOs with potential buyers and other stakeholders. It will also help the FPOs to get better prices and get greater exposure to their produce. SFAC will act as a facilitator to link both the stakeholders on a single platform.
 
Pattanayak added, “Technology has made it possible to connect farmers to the market, thereby reducing the clout of middlemen.”

“The SFAC e-platform will help connect farmers to consumers for trading, whereas the electronic National Agricultural Market (e-NAM) connects the farmer with the market in an organised wholesale market. There will be no middlemen and this will augment farmers’ incomes,” he added.  
 
Highlighting the significance of FPOs, Ramesh Chand, member, NITI Aayog, said, “There is a need to diversify agriculture from low-value to high-value crop - better price realisation for farmers is needed, and small farmers can take advantage of futures trading, curb black-marketing and help in value addition and processing.”

Sumanta Chaudhuri, managing director, SFAC, said, “The motive behind the launch of the FPO buyer e-interface is to improve market linkages by integrating the value chain, increasing market accessibility and enabling small holders to attract and negotiate with larger buyers and grow their business.”

“There is a need to encourage and hold the hands of the farmers. With this portal, we hope to plug the information gap between FPOs and organised buyers,” he added.
 
In order to address the credit needs of FPCs, SFAC and State Bank of India (SBI) also inked an agreement for comprehensive growth and financing of FPOs. SBI would be the preferred banker for FPO financing in the states of West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
 
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