As many as 276 agreements were signed between farmer producer companies (FPCs) and traders, exporters and bulk buyers at the first buyer-seller meet on Wednesday in Pune organised under the auspices of the Maharashtra Agriculture Department and the Maharashtra Agriculture Competitiveness Project (MACP) through an ambitious World Bank (WB) aided project.
These agreements have been signed between FPCs and buyers for a volume of 79,751 tonne of grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables at a value of some `260 crore, top officials of MACP said. This is the first buyer-seller meet of its kind held in the state and agreements of this scale have been signed for the first time, Anil Shitole, deputy director, MACP said.
These agreements are presently in a tentative form and a final umbrella agreement with detailed terms and conditions will be signed in the presence of the respective district project directors who will play the role of observors, Shitole said. Nearty 330 FPCs have been registered under the MACP project in Maharashtra with 1,22,000 shareholders and the target is to touch 400 FPCs by December 2016. Nearly 132 FPCs participated in the meet in Pune and showcasing their products and 188 companies have been granted approval to commence operations, he said.
The government of Maharashtra through the government of India has recieved credit from the International Development Association for implementation of MACP, the objective of which is to increase productivity, profitability and market access of the farming community in the state. This would be achieved by providing farmers with technical knowledge, market intelligence and market networks to support diversification and intensification of agricultural production as per market demand. The project which was initiated three years ago has seen the registration of some 330 FPCs in 33 districts through Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) that implements the project at the ground level. The total project is around `6 crore of which 65% funds have come from the World Bank, 29% funds are put in by FPCs and the remaining funds come from the state government, he said. Shitole said that the success of MACP’s project had attracted visits from delegations from farmer groups from Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan Uttar Pradesh, Bangladesh, Kenya and Africa.