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Small and marginal farmers to turn agri into a profitable venture – FPOs

small marginal and women farmers to create profitable venture FPOs

More than 86% of farmers in the country are small and marginal. But many of these small farmers have joined hands to form Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), and in states like Maharashtra, agriculture has become a profitable venture.

The aggregation of small, marginal and landless farmers in FPOs has helped to boost economic strength and market access of farmers to improve their incomes.

Following the success of FPOs, the Center has launched a new scheme entitled ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)’ with a coherent objective and dedicated resources with a budget allocation of Rs 6,865 crores.

Also Read: Supply small machinery and equipment to enhance small farmers income

Union budget speech 2018-19 announced a 5-year  tax abatement for FPOs with a turnover of up to 100 crores, while the Union budget 2019-20 confirmed the government’s intention to create 10,000 new FPOs over the next five years.

Product Cluster

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare emphasised the importance of FPOs to be established and developed in production clusters, where agricultural and horticultural products are cultivated for the benefit of economies of scale and improved the access to markets for members.

The “One District One Product” cluster will promote specialization and better processing, marketing, branding and export. Throughout 2020-21, 2,200 FPO-produce clusters were allocated to the formation of FPO-produce clusters, including specialized FPO-produce clusters such as 100 FPO-produce clusters for organic seeds, 100 FPO-produce clusters for oil seeds, etc. Of all these, 369 FPOs are aimed for formation in 115 aspirational districts during the current year.

Ravindra Kamble, a member of the Rich Agri Farmer Producer Company, goes on to say that small farmers can only survive if they join hands together and stay united. “There should also be good cooperation and cooperated participation between FPCs and FPOs involved in agriculture,” he stated.

Also Read: Govt to prioritizes 10 crore small and marginal farmers – President

The Government has announced that FPOs will provide financial support of up to Rs 18 lakh per FPO for a period of three years. In addition, provision has been made for matching equity grants up to Rs 2000 per farmer member of FPO with a limit of Rs 15 lakh per FPO and a credit guarantee facility up to Rs 2 crores of project loan per FPO from the qualified lending institution to make sure institutional credit availability to FPOs.

Shailaja Narwade as well as other women farmers in Osmanabad district who already have set up a producer company believe that the government’s initiative will help small farmers in a great way. “The priority should be more on developing a supply chain and finding new markets opportunities. Rural women farmers will have a huge role to play in collective farming”, she stated.

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