Maharashtra Farmers Producer Company (MahaFPC), a conglomerate of some 400 FPCs in the state, is trying to explore strategic alliances and joint ventures with major corporations as debates and discussions on new Agricultre laws keep going.
The MahaFPC has already started up India’s first public-private partnership (PPP) storing and marketing infrastructure facilities. Yogesh Thorat, MD, MahaFPC, stated that it is high time that farmers looked at fair partnerships and not subsidies to survive.
This project is directly owned by 2,500 farmers and benefits 25,000 producers of onions through inter-state trading, corporate buyer links and retail chains.
This is the first project of its kind in which PPP-mode warehousing and marketing facilities for perishable goods have been established.
A group of farmers who opposed to new farm laws believed that the benefits of reforms would be reaped by large companies and farmers would be left high and dry.
“Farmers and agriculture must be competitive,” Thorat said, emphasizing that the fear that large companies will take over agriculture is unfounded. MahaFPC is also planning to assist farmers with the growth of agricultural infrastructure, supply chain management and easily accessible to funding through a non-banking financial firm.
Thorat mentioned that out-of-mandi trading has attracted farmers in recent months who sell their goods via FPCs to private companies.
Farmers’ cooperatives will boost their bargaining power with companies, according to Vilas Shinde, Chairman and Managing Director of the Nashik-based FPO Sahyadri Farms. He said farming needs to be done properly and farmers need to educate themselves as an entrepreneurs.