New Delhi. 01 Jun 2018
Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) today launched the portal SFAC e-platform which will connect farmers directly with consumers and eliminate middlemen thus giving all the benefits to farmers.
Speaking at the launch of SFAC e-platform today at a conference on ‘Development of Linkages for Sustainability of FPOs’, Union agri secretary S K Pattanayak said, “The SFAC e-platform will connect farmers to consumers directly and will give them an opportunity to sell directly to consumers. There will be no middlemen and this will augment farmers income.”
This e-portal for FPOs (Farmer Producer Organization) is different from the government’s e-NAM platform as the latter does not link farmers with consumers but to the wholesale markets, he said, and added that this opportunity should not be cornered by the big players.
However, he regretted that banks are not coming forward to lend to FPOs in agri sector. He urged banks to trust farmers and give them loans.
He also said, “Credit needs to reach farmers to ensure they follow successful business models”.
“There is a need to connect farmers to a value-chain as this will help them in becoming agri-entrepreneurs. FPO scheme helps farmers to connect to a value-chain”, he added.
He complemented Bank of Baroda and SBI for signing a pact with Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) on lending to FPOs in some states. SBI would be the preferred banker for FPO financing in the states of West Bengal, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
Currently, the government’s SFAC provides equity grant and credit guarantee to empower FPOs. Each FPO has a group of 8,000 to 10,000 farmers and collectively decide what to grow and market the produce in bulk. There are 700-odd FPOs set up by SFAC and 2,000 FPOs by Nabard.
Sumanta Chaudhuri, Managing Director, SFAC and Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog were also present in the conference.