Cluster-based organisations, FPOs to play significant role in doubling of farmers’ income: Agriculture minister

Cluster-based business units along with farmer producer organisations can play a significant role in doubling of farmers’ income, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Choudhary said on Tuesday.

Choudhary, according to an official statement, asked the CBBO representatives to rope in small farmers for work like grading and sorting of their crops.

Cluster-based business units along with farmer producer organisations can play a significant role in doubling of farmers’ income, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Kailash Choudhary said on Tuesday.

The minister was speaking at the inauguration of a regional conference for CBBOs (Cluster-Based Business Organisations) and FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) under the 10,000 FPO scheme of the central government at Panchkula in Haryana.

Choudhary said that to make farmers self-reliant and doubling their income, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasised on “Sabka Saath-Sabka Vikas-Sabka Vishwas-Sabka Prayas” and FPOs have an important role to implement this work and CBBO can play its supporting role in this task.

Choudhary, according to an official statement, asked the CBBO representatives to rope in small farmers for work like grading and sorting of their crops.

He said that CBBO will have to involve maximum number of farmers in FPOs to ensure maximum benefit of the scheme.

Citing the example of milk cooperative Amul, the minister said that bigger FPOs can be created on similar pattern with the involvement of a large number of fruit and vegetable farmers.

Haryana’s agriculture minister Jai Prakash Dalal said that 600 to 700 FPOs have already been formed in the state.

As many as 50 representatives of CBBOs and 300 from FPOs working in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and Punjab were invited in the regional conference. Officials from various implementing agencies as well as state government officials dealing with FPOs also took part in the conference.

N Vijaya Lakshmi, Joint Secretary (Marketing), Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, shared the progress of the scheme.

According to the official statement, the Union government has formulated a new central sector scheme titled “Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)” which was formally launched by the Prime Minister in 2020 at Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) with budgetary provision of Rs 6,865 crore.

The scheme is based on the produce cluster approach and to enhance the production, market access, diversification, value addition, processing and export and to create agri-based employment opportunities and empower farmers. While adopting cluster-based approach, formation of FPOs will be focussed on “One District One Product” for development of product specialisation, the statement said.

The scheme also has a provision for a financial support of Rs 18 lakh per FPO for three years as management cost to make them sustainable and economically viable.

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