Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the government will lay emphasis on setting up more Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in the country as part of its efforts to increase the income of small and marginal farmers. He said that the government had launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-Kisan scheme), under which Rs 1.82 lakh crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of about 11 crore farmers.
PM Kisan Latest Update
Government is all set to release the next installment of PM Kisan Yojana hence before that farmers must do all the necessary work like updating eKYC, aadhaar details etc. Sources said that Modi govt. may release the next installment in the first week of April.
CII-NCDEX FPO Summit
Addressing the CII-NCDEX FPO Summit, he said that the government has already started planning to set up 10,000 FPOs with an outlay of Rs 6,865 crore and the program is being implemented at a fast pace.
86 percent farmers are small and marginal
Tomar said that the plan of setting up of FPOs is very effective which will ensure the progress of small and marginal farmers. About 86 percent of the farmers are small and marginal, with an average holding of less than 1.1 hectares. Tomar said that the government is making efforts to make Indian agriculture profitable for the growth of the farmers.
Tomar said that with an aim to increase investment in the agriculture sector, the government has increased the agricultural credit target to about Rs 18 lakh crore from Rs 6-7 lakh crore in the year 2014. He said that the government has started an agriculture infrastructure fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore, FPOs can also get finance from this fund. “There is a need to expand FPOs as the number of small and marginal farmers is high in our country,” the minister added.
Benefit of FPO
FPOs can help farmers reduce costs through bulk procurement of agricultural inputs, the collective use of modern farm equipment, and marketing of agricultural products. The minister said that they can play an important role in increasing the income of the farmers. Therefore, the government wants to expand the FPO programme. Tomar said that the efforts of all the stakeholders are yielding results, as a result of which India is currently one of the leading country in the production of almost all the crops.
Record food production during COVID-19
He said that the agriculture sector has performed very well in terms of record foodgrain production and substantial exports during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Minister appreciated CII and other institutions for conducting studies on FPOs, which pointed out certain shortcomings in setting up of FPOs.
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