TRIPURAINFO

Let FPO be the New Mantra and New Engine of Farm Sector Growth in Tripura

Shri Jayanta Debnath & Shri Pinaki Ranjan Dey

May 18, 2020, 12:26:18   

An Article by Shri Jayanta Debnath, eminent senior Journalist and Founder of tripurainfo.com; Shri Prinaki Ranjan Dey, senior agribusiness analyst, start-up mentor and trainer.

What are Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)?

A Farmers Producer Organization is a legal entity formed by primary producers, viz. farmers, milk producers, fishermen etc. It can even be formed by weavers, rural artisans, craftsmen etc. The main aim of FPO is to ensure better income for the producers through an organization of their own1

Important Features of FPO

It is formed by a group of producers for either farm or non-farm activities.

It is a registered body and a legal entity, registered with the RoC.

Producers are shareholders in the organization.

It deals with business activities related to the primary produce/product.

It works for the benefit of the member producers.

A part of the profit is shared amongst the producers.

Rest of the surplus is added to its owned funds for business expansion.

In India, currently Government bodies like NABARD or Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium are mandated with the task of promoting FPCs

 
Activities Undertaken by FPO



Advantages of FPO Driven Rural Livelihood Development in Tripura



Some Important Aspects vis-a-vis Farm Sector in Tripura

1. Production Statistics:



2. Major Advantages:



3. Major Disadvantages 
 

Lower yield of many crops

State lagging behind in terms of FPO driven agri growth

Low per capita availability of milk: 129 gm/day/person (National average: 337 gram/day/person)

Low per capita availability of egg (considering that majority of the State's population is non-vegetarian: 71 numbers/day/person (National average: 74 numbers/day/person)

Low net income of farmers

Relatively less degree of convergence of schemes, policies, initiatives of related departments

Negative Mindset towards farming: Being a farmer and do Farming is not trendy, considered not too respectable unlike the States in the North or West or South

Negative Mindset towards considering farming as an entrepreneurship option by youths of the State

Agri/horti/animal husbandry departments perhaps need a facelift with infusion of new talents, new ideas and fresh energy


Suggestions for Revamping the Farm Sector and for Taking Full Advantage of the Latest Support Package Announced by the Central Government for the Sector

Tripura currently has almost 1.2 lakhs unemployed people. Need is to develop a strategic action plan and also to assess how many of these people can be engaged in farm sector or in agri based SMEs

There are approximately 2 lakh farmers in the State and more than 50000 SHGs. Need is to develop a strategic action plan and to assess how many of these farmers and the functional SHGs can be under FPOs in the State in the following categories -

 

FPOs in Agri and Horti

FPOs in Dairy and Livestock

FPOs for Poultry

FPOs for NTFPs

Fisheries FPOs

Bee Keeping and Honey production FPOs

Even FPOs for Farm sector inputs (like organic manure, fish/poultry/animal feed etc.) and services (like agri logistics, market linkages, cool chain, post harvest management, storage, value addition etc.) can be considered

A policy on increasing the onion production in the State can be considered and 'Onion Mission' can be considered to be launched, incentivizing farmers for growing onion across the State wherever it can be cultivated

Each of the districts can be assigned for growing of a selected list of crops (mainly vegetables)  and that district can be branded accordingly. While farmers across all the districts can grow any crop they like, but special incentives for cultivating some selected crops in each district. This will help in avoiding over production and resulting market glut of some crops while falling short of supply for other crops

However, considering the risk of weather failure or natural disasters or pest/disease attack, some essential vegetables can be grown across the districts or there can be a backup plan for risk management in such a situation of crop failure

All the FPOs formed should be provided with a team of few agri-marketing staff whose sole job will be to market the products of the FPOs across the State. Government can earmark funds from the latest announced schemes for this as well as keeping a provision for incentives on sales for the sales staff

Some of the bigger hotels, restaurants and Government canteens/guest houses etc. can be encouraged to go into contract farming arrangements with the FPOs for the supply of their required cereals, vegetables, milk, meat, eggs etc.

Farmers should be encouraged to organize themselves under FPOs to avail Government schemes, credits, loans, incentives, insurance etc. easily than working on an individual level

Some of the good FPOs currently existing in the State can also be given the status of Resource Institutions (RIs) or Producer Organisation Promoting Institution (POPI) for the formation of new FPOs and to provide handholding support

Additionally, local socially motivated organizations, MSMEs with exposure to the farm sector of the State etc. can be appointed as RIs or POPIs

Organizations like ONGC, TNGCL, GAIL, canteens of army / paramilitary forces/police department can be encouraged to get into institutional contract with FPOs for purchase of their requirement of cereals and vegetables and other agri products 

An online dynamic FPO database with support from a dedicated FPO call centre can be considered to be established. The database will also help in connecting buyer-seller, service providers, agri-based MSMEs for their raw material requirements etc.

The online database will also have a track of monthly sales of each FPO in the State, category wise, product wise along with real time data on market rate of every major markets in the districts

Immediately after the lockdown, a quick and thorough primary survey based study can be considered to be done to develop an analytical, strategic and time bound action plan for 'FPO driven fast track growth of the farm sector of Tripura'


Conclusion

The ball is now in our court, we the people of Tripura! Let's make full use of it by reinventing ourselves through innovative thinking, resilience, mutual cooperation, entrepreneurial attitude and all else whatever is needed. Let's make the vision of our Honourable CM Shri Biplab Kumar Deb Ji of building "Ek Tripura...Shreshtha Tripura" a reality, waking on the path of the motto put forth by our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji of "21st century is not only our dream but also our responsibility. There's only one path to achieve this: self dependent India" and his advice to be 'Vocal about Local and go Glocal'! If Tripura could produce some of the best Kings our Country ever had, world class singers, athletes, tennis player and best in class in all other avenues, Tripura can surely produce some of the best FPOs and the best Farmers in India!

   (Tripurainfo)

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