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Statutory Warning

This Blog is meant purely as a personal diary of a rural manager in making. It exists to record information, experiences and opinions about various issues encountered in the line of duty. Any person, institution and organization mentioned here don't assume any liability for its contents. This is not a deliberate attempt to defame anyone. And if you have actually read all that is written in the blog and are not mad at me, then thanks for your time and patience !

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

FPO: Public Policy & Value Chain Development

A basic concept can be read here:2014 - Year of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) before going further ahead in this topic.

Public Policy: There is always so much talk on FDI in retail, so it seems good state channel the same money for farmers’ producers’ cooperatives and ensure they get good margins and market access. Government of India (GoI) already invest Rs 275,000 crore on agricultural subsidy budget that is constantly touted needs to be unpacked. Who is the real beneficiary of these subsidies, farmers, or seeds’, fertilizer’ manufacturers and agricultural banks ? That is where a good public policy comes into the play.

Government of India (GoI) is promoting concept of Farmer Producer Organizations going in a right step to engage and adapt agriculture to market system. The primary objective of collective mobilization of farmers into FPOs, is to enhance production, productivity and profitability of especially small farmers in the country. FPO will be positioned as a gateway agency between the farmers and markets. The complete Policy and Process Guidelines for Farmer Producer Organizations; is a good framework. FPO policy will give auxiliary advantages like women’s empowerment.

Policy guidelines are the first step but we need awareness on this novel concept among a diverse range of stakeholders: the farming community, State Governments, Banks and other financial institutions, Civil society organizations, the media and elected representatives of the people. Policies that impede the growth of FPOs, such as APMC laws, tenancy provisions, cold storage, etc. must be amended with changing times.

Value Chain Development : With the below diagram, we see that how Value Chain is different from Supply Chain.


 Value chain development interventions focus on improving business operations and relationship (even contractual) at the level of primary producers, processors and other actors in the chain. Production, harvesting, procurement, grading, pooling, handling, marketing, selling, export of primary produce comes under the scope of value chain. It can also include preserving, drying, distilling, brewing, venting, canning and packaging of produce of its members.

Value chain analysis starts with mapping the volume of products, number of people engaged in, geographical flow of products, value at different levels of value chains, The supply and demand side of business can be understood with the result of analysis only. Only then, we can start with the business planning of the enterprise. All the members of FPO are primarily farmers only but we need to build their capacities on trading, accounting and hoarding practices over time. Farmer Producer Organizations can only result in more sustainable and better-performing business plans when farmers has good understanding of a value chain systems.

FPOs are nee steps towards organization having higher financial autonomy and lesser government subsidy. Possibly the biggest failure of GoI is the promotion and formation of good organization in agriculture sector. Let us look for the big question in the livelihood sector: Is a full-fledged value chain development project through FPO is the best way to bring about development ?If not, then what is an alternate !

Friday, January 9, 2015

Development Sector

Salary is one of the most critical components of a human resources strategy even in development sector. It is unreal, and perhaps even unfair, to expect that a development professional is going to do good to society at a loss to himself. This path has produced few rare exceptional people, but its not a sustainable way of growth. I think job anywhere is very simple; to work with the best of our ability, and inspire younger generation to excel given standards. Compensation, Experience , Commitment and Skill set creates the Job Profile. But there is always huge gap between supply and demand in development sector. The reason is below:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

2014 - Year of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)

I always remember the words of Chinese Premier Deng Xiapong - "It doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." So, now NGOs and government are finally coming to the phase of acceptance of market forces in the development sector. Cooperative movement is already a failure except few notable examples. Government has never managed to manage any scheme efficiently. Government are partnering with various professional organizations for setting up new institution in the country - Farmers Producer Company (FPC) / Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO). The legal framework is ready under Companies Act. According to this new law, only farmer – producers can be members of the FPC and the farmer members themselves will manage this company. It takes care of the flaws in the cooperative societies but has also borrowed the strengths of the corporate companies.


FPO/FPC will be dominating in future debates of livelihood and its success depends on implementation and design of the program. Evidences will come for pro and cons of such initiative, no matter how reliable, have to be interpreted. Interpretations can differ, and do differ, and such differences account of explanation. That is a future full of possibilities. I will be updating this space related with FPO. The chart will give an overview of the FPO structure and purpose. It is bit late to post here but Calendar year 2014 is declared as “Year of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs)”.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Annual General Meeting of UAPCL

Udaipur Agro Producer Company Limited, UAPCL, is a social-enterprise company focused on strengthening the livelihoods of the community. The organization was registered on June 29, 2010. The company’s main concentration is building the surrounding community through direct collaboration. The company is comprised of 1635 members. Each member is a local farmer mostly small and marginal who owns a share of the company.

UAPCL Annual General Meeting
Share Certificate Distribution
ACCESS Team with UAPCL Board of Directors
ACCESS Development Services is working in the area of livelihood with FPOs (Farmer Producer Orgainzation). Here is a glimpse of Annual General Meeting organized by one such - UAPCL attended by 700 members. Here we see smallholder farmers not as marginal recipients of charity instead as customer entrepreneurs. I will be updating more on FPOs in this space.

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