In view of the facts that online transaction is emerging fast in India too and in order to further strengthen its efforts to create effective market linkages for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) across the country, the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) in association with FICCI on June 1 unveiled an Online platform for farmers to connect with Potential Buyers, both in domestic and international markets. SFAC, a specialised agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, is playing pivotal role in mobilising farmers across the country to form FPOs, which has enabled farmers in enhancing the productivity and earning better returns from their produce. Other associate partners of this venture include State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE).
Highlighting the significance of FPOs, Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog said that there is a need to diversify agriculture from low-value to high-value crop — better price realisation for farmers is needed and small farmers can take advantage of futures trading, curb black-marketing and help in value addition & processing.
“Market linkages remain one of the crucial areas for FPOs to emerge as successful enterprises and SFAC has played an integral role in opening up marketing channels for FPOs in India. SFAC will act as a facilitator to link both the stakeholders on a single platform. SFAC will certainly facilitate the process of providing real time information on the portal by FPO and Buyer, where any subsequent trading is to be undertaken directly between FPO and Buyer,” explained Mr Sumanta Chaudhuri, Managing Director, SFAC. He also made it clear that in this effort logistics service providers have to play the critical role. “Logistics companies are welcome to play their important role by collaborating with the producers/sellers and buyers. SFAC would play the facilitator’s role in this regard,” he added.
“The portal has been primarily developed with the objective of connecting farmers to other stakeholders such as buyers, retailers, exporters, processors and wholesalers. It will serve as a common platform for buyers and sellers to interact with farmers, which in turn will help them earn the right prices for their produce. The portal is first of its kind and is focussed on plugging the information gaps between FPOs and organised buyers,” shared Mr Rakesh Shukla, Team Leader, SFAC.
The FPO Buyer E-interface is a first of its kind portal dedicated to connect FPOs with potential buyers and other stakeholders. It will also help the FPOs to get better prices and get greater exposure to their produce. SFAC will act as a facilitator to link both the stakeholders on a single platform.
In order to address the credit needs of FPCs, SFAC and State Bank of India also signed an agreement for comprehensive growth and financing of FPOs. SBI would be the preferred banker for FPO financing in the states of West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.