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Draft policy proposes 3-tier Amul model for FPOs

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Emulating the 3-tier Amul cooperative model, bringing in professionalism and financial assistance are some of the provisions incorporated in the draft policy on farmer producer organisation (FPO), which is likely to be finalised this month and slated to be notified before September.

The Centre has received 90-100 feedback as the 14-day deadline ended Wednesday after the draft was released in the public domain last month seeking comments from stakeholders. Based on the feedback, it will be revised and is likely to be finalised by July 31, sources said. As it is also part of the Government’s 100-day agenda, Agriculture Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is keen to see the policy gets notified before the deadline, the sources said.

One of the proposals as mentioned in the policy is to professionalise the FPOs through appointments of the chief executive officer (CEO). As there no guidelines exist now, the government has proposed to incentivise those FPOs financially for three years if they appoint CEOs from a list of empanelled professionals. The empanelment will be made by the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC), the agency tasked to implement the policy.

3-tier organisation

“In case, qualified and skilled CEO from panel is once appointed, it would be duty of CEO to manage and execute the entire agribusiness affairs of FPO,” the draft policy said.

Though it is not mandatory, the policy has suggested that FPOs, if they desire, should organise themselves on a 3-tier basis – one at block levels, one at the district level and another at the State level – to leverage their strength. “Though Amul has been dealing with milk unlike these FPOs who deal with various agriculture and horticulture crops, its procurement and processing system is worth following,” a government official said.

“This policy will guide the policy makers, Governments (States) and all those involved to make strides and endevours to develop the FPOs on the 3-tier AMUL model through making all needed support and removing the hurdles,” the policy document said.

Level-playing field

Hindu businessline in April reported about a likely policy on FPOs. If it materialises this year, such a policy will come after a gap of 11 years. It will create a level playing field for all those created outside the 2020 scheme since they are not getting financial benefits.

in 2020, the Centre launched the Central Sector Scheme for Formation and Promotion of 10,000 FPOs at an outlay of Rs 6,865 crore as part of measures to increase farmers’ income. Over 8,000 FPOs have already been registered under the scheme till February, data from the Agriculture Ministry show.

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