Global Economy

54 Farmer Producer Organizations converge for conversations towards inclusive agribusiness

About 54 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) representing 44,000 farmers across 6 states in India and 15 leading agribusiness corporations have come together for Samvad for Safalta – conversations towards inclusive agribusiness.

As a part of a COVID resilience initiative, Arya, a leading agri tech start up, has implemented a comprehensive program aimed at capacity building and field support to 54 FPOs from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. Funded by CDC Plus (the CDC Group’s technical assistance program) and supported by Omnivore, members of these FPOs have undergone a detailed program designed by Arya for readiness to undertake post-harvest interventions as part of Omnivore and CDC’s Technical assistance program.

Mr Harsh Bhanwala, ex-chairman, Nabard emphasized the importance of three crucial pillars – social capital, technological capital, and financial capital for the success of any community initiatives. He emphasised that FPOs enable access to all these and can alleviate the status of smallholder farmers.

He said, “Private participation is a key to providing farmers with technology interventions, access to trading platforms, value chain & storage innovations, advisory services, mechanized services.”

15 large private companies and 54 FPOs interested in value chains of grains, pulses, and spices interacted extensively.

FPOs and corporates shared their interest in partnering for more inclusive value chains. Expression of interest was obtained for about 600 tonnes of purchase of commodities, even in the first virtual interaction. During the interactions between agribusiness corporates and FPOs, various challenges such as quality parameters, and gradation of commodity and storage were discussed. The discussion brought out the necessity for a package of practices that could help FPOs align their production to market requirements.

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Mr. Rajesh Sharma from Reliance Retail said, “These practices would improve focus on quality output, improve their productivity and ensure better returns for the commodity.”

This initiative is the first among many to improve market linkages between farmer Producer Organizations.

Sarah Marchand, director, CDC Plus said “With the outbreak of COVID, there were big changes expected in our society and in the way value chain systems worked. We knew that we had companies in our portfolio that could respond quickly and make an impact on the people we wanted to support. We are very pleased to have supported this initiative and that Omnivore and Arya share our vision of integrating farmers and FPOs into the agribusiness value chain and forging ahead with an inclusive sector.”

“Omnivore has always worked towards encouraging new technology in Agriculture and ensuring it reaches farmers on the ground level for their economic growth. We have great hope that with the coming together of farmer organizations and corporate houses a lot of solutions can be developed and we will continue to work towards Impact,” said Subhadeep Sanyal from Omnivore.

Ms. Sindhu Singh, a member of a participating FPO shared her story on how with Arya’s support she could sell rice worth Rs 15 lakh in 40 days to the farmers at a great price- a win-win for both of them. She said, “I am very thankful to Arya for providing us with the right digital training that helped us gain an understanding of how marketplaces work. Our FPO helped us skip middlemen & achieve a price of Rs 18 per kg instead of the Rs 12 per kg ,the price at which the middlemen were usually buying.”

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