APEDA, NABARD on a pilot project to train 30 FPOs to increase agricultural exports.
As part of a five-year strategy to enhance agricultural exports, the government’s agro-export promotion body APEDA and re-financing agency Nabard will shortly provide training to 30 farmer producer organisations (FPOs) in Varanasi, Mirzapur, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, and Chandauli districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Under the ‘One District, One Product‘ concept, the government has already assigned several agro goods to these districts: chilli to Varanasi, tomato to Mirzapur and Chandauli, onion to Ghazipur, and Kala Namak rice type to Gorakhpur.
According to sources, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Nabard decided earlier this week to commence the training programme as soon as possible.
According to the sources, Nabard Consultancy Services (NABCONS) would be the project manager in charge of implementing the training programme.
APEDA Chairman M Angamuthu confirmed the news, saying, ‘This is a trial effort, and we will expand it to the next level shortly.’
‘The course curriculum would be customised by Nabcons in cooperation with APEDA for the purpose of giving concentrated training on export-oriented themes,’ he added. Such training programmes, he adds, would improve the role of FPOs in the export value chain.
In these five districts, there are a total of 117 FPOs and farmer producers’ companies (FPCs), including 30 such organisations promoted by Nabard.
Aside from NABARD, APEDA has also inked memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the FPOs scheme’s other implementing agencies, Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) and National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) (NCDC).
APEDA will give technical know-how to FPOs in order to upscale infrastructure developed for post-harvest management in order to enhance exports under these MoUs. APEDA will also aid FPOs with organic produce certification.
Scheme for Promotion of FPOs
The government started the ‘Formation and Promotion of FPOs’ initiative in 2020, with the goal of forming 10,000 new FPOs by 2027-28.
Each new FPO receives up to ₹ 33 lakh in handholding and financial support from the Centre under the plan for a period of five years. There is also a credit guarantee facility in effect for up to ₹2 crore of project finance per FPO.