Monday, February 11, 2013

NAC on Enhancing Farm Income for Small Holders

The  National Advisory Council meeting was held under the chairmanship of  by Smt. Sonia Gandhi last week of Jan 2013. Members who attended the meeting were Ms Anu Aga, Dr. Mihir Shah,  Smt. 
Aruna Roy,  Shri Ashis Mondal, Ms Mirai Chatterjee, Ms Farah Naqvi, Shri Deep Joshi and Dr A.K. Shiva Kumar. Ashis Mondal, Member, NAC and Convener of the NAC Working Group on  Enhancing Farm Income for Small Holders through Market Integration presented the draft recommendations of the Working Group to the Council. It was highlighted that building “collectives of smallholders” or farmer producer organizations will address many of the  output issues (markets, value addition, post-harvest activities etc.) and input issues (extension, credit, plant protection,insurance, nutrients) which will have positive impact on the productivity and risk mitigation directly.  The  overall direction of the recommendations is to create a policy environment that enables small and marginal farmers (SMF) to build their collectives and grow as vibrant institutions and play an effective role  in the market in more equitable terms. 
4. The recommendations were under four broad categories : 
a. Institution building initiatives for smallholders
b. Financial services to smallholders’ institutions
c. Marketing of smallholders’ produce, inputs supply, services, etc., and  
d. General Recommendation  
5. The key recommendations being (a)  Grant support to promote FPOs as the 
platform for aggregation for market, financing & extension by developing a sub scheme within the existing Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) of Agriculture& Rural Development to promote Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) (b) Establish Apex central organization to support FPOs  and  address the need for promotional role (c ) Creating conducive policy regime for FPOs to access Start up and Investment capital  (d)  FPOs be included as a recognized category of institution  under the  Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees  Act and be allowed to market members’ produce directly to buyers of their choice, through all platforms (e) Producer companies should continue to be retained as a part of the proposed amended Companies Bill/Act. 

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