Odisha: State Level Consultative Committee Meeting for FPOs under PRODUCE Fund

Bhubaneswar: The State Level Consultative Committee Meeting for FPOs under PRODUCE fund was organized by NABARD at Bhubaneswar. Dr Saurabh Garg, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Govt. of Odisha had his august presence as the Chief Guest for the meeting.
The Meeting was attended by Shri A Chandrasekhar, CGM, NABARD, Odisha, Shri Venkata Krishna, CEO, Nabkishan, Dr Amar Nayak, XIMB and representatives of FPOs from various districts.
Odisha consists of more than 90% small and marginal farmers. FPOs act as a bridge between the producer and the market and provide the producer accessibility to technology and information. It helps the farmers to produce based on the market information and thereby fetching more price for their produce. Currently, there are more than 100 FPOs produced by NABARD in Odisha.
The main objective of the meeting was to address the issues faced by FPOs and how the State Govt is association with NABARD can help them contribute more towards the livelihood of farmers and produce more FPOs. Capacity building training and awareness, Better infrastructure, Resource supporting agencies, Input supply and Market linkage were some of the factors discussed in the meeting
Shri A Chandrasekhar in his introductory address welcomed the FPO member’s and appreciated their efforts in shaping the growth in agriculture sector. It was followed by a brief presentation by Shri N L Sahoo, AGM, NABARD, Odisha on the current scenario of the FPOs and how they are functioning to help small and marginal farmers.
In his Keynote address Dr Garg explained that state Govt is ready to support the FPOs at the district and block level. He asked the FPOs to bring in crop diversification which will help the farmers increase their income and enhance their livelihood in a holistic approach. He also advised the FPOs to avail all the schemes run by the govt. in input subsidy, farm mechanisation and procurement of crops.
FPOs from different parts of the state raised several issues, which will be resolved and a proper mechanism will be developed for better execution.
Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment had signed an MoU with Nabkishan Finance, a subsidiary of NABARD on setting up of a Credit Guarantee Fund (CGF) for collateral free loan facilities to FPOs which has become a model for growing states like Tamilnadu.

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