The Indian government is going big on the agriculture sector with its recent announcement of bringing a policy for the world’s biggest foodgrain storage scheme under the cooperative societies sector.
On the other hand, it has announced the formation of 1,100 new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in the cooperative sector. The development is one of the many measures that the government is undertaking to increase the income of farmers
Union Minister Anurag Thakur announced to term the proposed scheme as the “world’s largest foodgrain storage programme” in the cooperative sector.
The government will make an allocation of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore towards it, reported The Economic Times.
“Under this scheme, a godown of a capacity of 2,000 tonnes will be constructed in every block. An inter-ministerial committee will be formed for this. This is part of a plan to expand foodgrain storage facilities in the country,” the minister said.
This will boost the cooperative sector, he added. The programme aims to raise India’s foodgrain storage capacity by 700 lakh tonne in the cooperative sector.
Currently, the grain storage capacity in the country is about 1,450 lakh tonne. In the next five years, the storage will expand to 2,150 lakh tonne
Thakur said the move is aimed to reduce the damage of food grains due to a lack of storage, help in checking distress sales by farmers, reduce import dependence and create employment opportunities in rural India.
This will boost food security in India, apart from helping farmers realise better prices for their goods, reported The Economic Times.
On the other hand, a target of 1,100 additional FPOs has been allocated to 1,100 additional FPOs(NCDC) by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare under its ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 FPOs’ scheme.
Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) was launched by the government in the year 2020 with a total budgetary outlay of Rs 6,865 crore. The motive behind this initiative was to leverage economies of scale, reduce the cost of production, and enhance farmers’ incomes. Under the FPO Scheme, financial assistance of Rs 33 lakhs is provided to each FPO.
Further, financial assistance of Rs 25 lakhs per FPO is provided to the Cluster Based Business Organizations (CBBO).
Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), which have a member base of around 13 crore farmers and are primarily engaged in short-term credit and distribution of seeds, fertilizers, etc. will now be able to undertake other economic activities as well.
Integration of PACS in the FPO scheme will enable them to expand their business in the areas of supply of production inputs; agricultural equipment like cultivator, tiller, harvester, etc. and processing, including cleaning, assaying, sorting, grading, packing, storage, transportation, etc.
PACS will also be able to undertake high income generating activities like bee-keeping and mushroom cultivation among others. This initiative will ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their produce by providing them necessary market linkages.
It would also lead to diversification in the economic activities of PACS, thus enabling them to generate new and stable sources of income.