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Sustainability of the Farmer Producer Organizations is the key to push the development agenda – Dr VS Vyas

India’s apex development bank – National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) completed 36 years of its dedicated services to the nation on 12 July 2018. On this occasion, NABARD organized a Seminar on “Agriculture Marketing and Collectivization – Role of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)” at Rajasthan Regional Office, Jaipur.

Chief Guest Padma Bhushan Dr. V S Vyas, World Famous Agricultural Economist, Former Member – Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council and currently Professor Emeritus, Institute of Development Studies said that “due to fragmentation and disorganization, it is not economically viable for small and marginal farmers to adopt latest technology and use of high yielding varieties of inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, etc. They are also unable to realize the good value from their marketable surplus by individually selling their produce. Therefore, the collectivizing farmers into Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs) has been considered as one of the ways to procure inputs at a lower price and gain more selling power for their produce/ product.

“Forming a producer organization can also provide access to timely and adequate farmers finance, build capacity and provide linkages to markets. This approach is demonstrating the potential to evolve farmers owned enterprises and in enabling their effective participation in agri value chain with better access to markets” said Dr. Vyas here on Thursday. He further said that improving the productivity of agricultural inputs in the farmers’ field is also very much required in order to increase the income of the farmer.

R K Thanvi, Chief General Manager, NABARD during welcome address said “Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) registered under the Companies Act have emerged as the most appropriate institutional form for mobilizing farmers and for their capacity building which will leverage their collective strength for their economic betterment. A Farmer Producer Company entails the spirit of a cooperative society with professional management”.

CGM Shri R K Thanvi further added that FPOs assume critical importance in the context of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of “Doubling of Farmers’ Income by 2022”. NABARD has promoted about 4,000 FPOs during last three years across the country. In Rajasthan, NABARD has provided support for formation and nurturing of 272 FPOs engaged in agriculture & allied activities. We now plan to roll out a roadmap for promotion & upscaling of FPOs in the state on mission mode during the current year to help them achieve commercial scale in their operations benefiting the farmers/member producers thereby bringing improvement in quality of life of rural people”.

Special Guest Dr. Vijay Veer Singh, Chair Professor – NITI Aayog and Dean – Department of Social Sciences, University of Rajasthan said that provision of sufficient storage capacity is one of the prerequisites in order to ensure the better price realization by the farmers through FPOs, therefore, FPOs should strive to have their own storage godowns.

Besides Dr. Ruhi Dahiya, President – Jyoti Vidhyapeeth Women’s’ University, the above seminar was also attended by the Senior Officials of the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM), Reserve Bank of India, State Level Bankers Committee, Commercial Banks, RRBs, Cooperative Banks, NGOs, Community Based Organizations, etc.

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