Agri Data FPOs Joint Venture

TCI launched a hub for FPOs to empower India’s 125 million small farmers

"TCI and Walmart Foundation launch hub for India's FPOs"

The Tata-Cornell Institute (TCI) for Agriculture and Nutrition launched a hub for Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) within its Center of Excellence in New Delhi in order to empower India’s 125 million small farmers to take advantage of growing agricultural opportunities. The hub includes a one-of-a-kind database of Indian FPOs.

The Hub, which was founded with a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, will serve as a repository of information, learnings, and knowledge for the advancement of FPOs in India, according to a statement from TCI.

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

Small farms face challenges in gaining access to markets, credit, and agricultural inputs such as seeds. Farmers who join FPOs work together to reduce costs and improve market access, resulting in higher agricultural productivity, improved food security, and livelihood development.

Since the early 2000s, farmers have formed FPOs, Though philanthropic actors, corporations, and the government are all interested in promoting FPOs, many still face significant barriers to entry, such as limited financing options and the time required to become self-sufficient. The Indian government began a renewed push to promote FPOs in 2014.

FPOs are critical

‘Farmer producer organizations are critical for both improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods and increasing the supply of diverse, nutritious foods that are increasingly in demand across India,’ said Prabhu Pingali, director of TCI and professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

Through the FPO hub, TCI intends to provide a foundation of data-driven knowledge on which strong, effective FPOs can be built and sustained.’

TCI’s Database for Indian FPOs, a new platform that gathers information on thousands of FPOs to facilitate research on small-farm aggregation models, is an important component of the hub. TCI’s database is the only centralized source of data on Indian FPOs at the moment.

Researchers can access a wealth of data on FPOs, such as crops produced, founding years, and sponsoring agencies, via the interactive web-based dashboard. Finally, the data will enable researchers at the hub to develop models to increase smallholder farmer income and welfare.

‘By bringing together data from over 4,400 FPOs in India, we will be able to conduct research aimed at developing strong, effective FPO models,’ Pingali explained.

The hub will use an analytical, data-driven approach to aid in the understanding, development, and promotion of effective farm-aggregation models, as well as serve as a dissemination platform where stakeholders can access information, technical assistance, and guidance.

Also Read: Agri start-up to help over 3,000 FPOs to empower around 15 lakh farmers

‘The Walmart Foundation is committed to assisting smallholder farmers in India in improving their livelihoods. With the TCI grant funding, we are significantly advancing research into FPOs, which serve as critical infrastructure for promoting access to the market and strengthening business and agricultural practices,’ said Julie Gehrki, vice president of philanthropy at Walmart Foundation. ‘The FPO hub will link multiple institutions that are directly engaged in supporting farmers and farm aggregators to strengthen the agri-value chain.’ says TCI.


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