Over 10000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are being set up all across India to boost the rural economy. Accordingly, the Union Of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Mr Narendra Singh Tomar released guidelines for the creation and promotion of FPOs.
Highlights of the Video Conference
On Saturday, the agriculture minister Mr Narendra Singh Tomar held a video conference with the State agricultural ministers and other prominent officials. The said conference covered the recent government initiatives. Accordingly, it outlined the progress of Kisan Credit Card initiation under Atma Nirbhar Bharat and PM- Kisan Yojana. Further, agriculture minister highlights that one crore Agri infrastructure fund will put to use in post-harvest technology to avoid food wastage.
Most importantly, there was a discussion on the new operational guidelines for setting up of Farmer Producer Organisations. Subsequently, the minister stated that approximately 10000 FPOs would be formed by 2023-24.
As stated earlier, Mr Tomar introduced new operational guidelines for the formation and promotion of FPOs. Under this, the FPOs will have 5-year support, while the budget allocated for this is Rs. 6,866 crores. The guidelines also mention that 50% of the farmers in each FPO comprise of small, marginal or landless farmers. Further, it was highlighted that the FPOs are eligible for an equity grant of up to 15 lakhs, also, 18 lakhs for formative years while funding meeting and administrative expenditure.
Reliable Credit Guarantee
Agricultural credit is essential to stimulate productivity. Also, it is crucial for the proper functioning of the FPOs. Thus, the meeting discussed the need for improvement of credit facilities. Accordingly, the government has proposed the Kisan Credit Cards scheme (KCC) to improve credit facilities. Subsequently, strived to register at least 2.5 crore farmers by the end of this year. In the KCC scheme, there are already 6.67 crore active accounts. This is a very positive sign since the availability of agricultural credit plays a significant role in the success of FPOs.
Saving Farmers from Exploitation
Dr Satish Verma, RBI chair professor (CRRID) in an interview with TOI said that the middlemen exploit farmers. Resulting in, farmers receiving only a fraction of the money while the rest of it goes to the intermediaries. Bearing this in mind, he emphasized that the government should come up with suitable policies for the FPOs to save farmers from this exploitation.
In all, the FPOs must minimize farmer exploitation. And, this can be achieved only through proper policy formulation. Finally, eliminating the number of mediators alongside increasing accessibility to agricultural credit is crucial for the success of FPOs as well as farmers.