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Farmer Producer Organisations should be supported like SHGs.

Bhubaneswar – The ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic has put all the sectors in tatters. There’s an uncertainty on the future of every field. Meanwhile, there is an increasing appreciation among the policy makers and development practitioners that Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) are the way forward. But in spite of that, this can be realized if an appropriate architecture of producer organisations iswell planned and implemented. On the above context -A webinar was organized by the Bhubaneswar based Civil Society Institution – Mahashakti Foundation addressing the opportunities and challenges of Producer Organizations.

About 100 participants drawn from a cross section of society and representatives of civil society organizations from across the country participated in this event.
While making a lead presentation Mr. DebasisMohapatra, State Project Manager –Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) highlighted the situation of FPOs on national and state level. He underlined the need of a realistic business plan to create an economically stable FPOs and added that the new government policy focusses on “One District, One Product for the FPOs.
Mr. Ganesh N, Senior Vice President – Samunnati Financial Intermediation & Services Pvt. Ltd. a Chennai based Agri Value Chan Financing Agency highlighted about the requirement of tailor-made services like Aggregation, Market Linkage and Advisory Services for the FPOs in right time.
Executive Director of Harsha Trust- Dr.Kallul Bora suggested that a business oriented FPO can be economically successful and addition of new entrepreneurs into the FPOs adds social and economic value.
Mr. Harsh Desmukh, Asst. Manager- NAB FOUNDATION -a Subsidiary of NABARDemphasized that a combination of both options (one product and diverse product) for an FPO is a good idea for its economic sustainability. He focused on the need of capacity building trainings of all stakeholders of FPOs.
Mr. Sukumar Dash, President and CEO – Gram Bhumi Vikash &KrushiJeevikaProducer Company Limited explained that regularStrength Weakness Opportunities and Threat) analysis of FPOs is necessary for their sustainability. He emphasized on creating a proper infrastructure for FPOs in their early stages of formation. He added that step by step planning with respect to trading and marketing of FPO products can make an FPO successful.

The Challenges of FPOs with small marginal farmers in rain fed and tribal areas were well discussed by Mr. Jagdish Pradhan, President – Sahabhagi Vikash Abhiyan.He also mentioned the need for quality improvement of FPO produces. Dr.Sarita Das, Assistant Professor – Centre for Agri Management, Utkal University highlighted the opportunities for FPOs during Covid-19. She discussed that credible timely information is needed to create awareness among the FPOs regarding those opportunities.

Mr. Bimal Kumar Lakra, Managing Director of Kshmata Foundationfocused about the product diversification is important for sustainability of an FPOs. He further added that an ecosystem approach could improve the socio-economic conditions of the farmers associated with FPOs.

Director of Mahashakti Foundation Mr. Mohan Kumar Baliyarsingh summarized the outcomes and deliberations and Ms. ShrishitaRath hosted the webinar.

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