How farmer producer company model can transform Indian agriculture -Jayashree Bhosale
-The Economic Times
Agricultural engineer Vilas Shinde has reaped a rich harvest. Sahyadri Farms, the farmer producer company (FPC) set up by him in 2011, has grown to become the largest FPC in the country, with a membership of 8,000 farmers and a turnover of Rs 300 crore. It has overtaken Mahindra Agribusiness to become India’s largest grape exporting company, and many say it may well be on course to revolutionise the fruits and vegetables business in favour of growers just as Amul did for milk producers of Gujarat.
Kishore Biyani’s Future Group has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Sahyadri Farms for direct sourcing of fruits and vegetables for its supermarket chain Big Bazaar, triggering hope among many policymakers that the FPC model may succeed where traditional solutions have failed, in helping India overcome the agrarian case and doubling farmers’ incomes.
In the past one year alone, visitors to Sahyadri Farms, located in Mohadi village near Nashik in Maharashtra, have included members of the government’s premier think tank Niti Aayog, senior ministers, agriculture secretary and joint secretaries of the Union government, besides Biyani.
THE ORIGINS OF FPCs IN INDIA
A provision for setting up FPCs was made in the Companies Act, 1956 in 2003 by an amendment to the Act. According to the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), a producer company is a hybrid between a private limited company and a cooperative society. Therefore, it enjoys the benefits of professional management of a private limited company as well as mutual benefits derived from a cooperative society.
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The Economic Times, 29 September, 2018, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/how-farmer-producer-company-model-can-transform-indian-agriculture/articleshow/66000269.cms