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Inaugurating a one-day mega conference aimed at bolstering Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) via Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) will be Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah on July 14 in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Cooperation has announced a conclave to examine bolstering PACS via FPOs, saying, “the conclave will witness the participation of experts from the sector as well as members from the FPOs across the country.”

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The Union Ministry of Cooperation is partnering with the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) to host this enormous gathering.

One of the most important tools for bringing about change in agriculture is the development of farmer-owned cooperatives (FPOs), which allow farmers to pool resources and increase their negotiating power. Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah has been working to build 1,100 new FPOs in the Cooperative Sector to help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Sahkar se Samriddhi” vision.

With an important initiative of the Ministry of Cooperation Ministry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare recently allocated additional blocks to NCDC to form and promote 1,100 FPOs in Cooperative Sector through the strengthening of PACS under the scheme to bolster the cooperative sector and provide comprehensive support to small and marginal farmers.

Each FPO receives Rs 33 lakh in funding via the FPOs Scheme. Additionally, Cluster-Based Business Organisations (CBBOs) are provided with financial support of Rs 25 lakh each FPO to aid in the promotion and handholding of the FPOs.

Many people believe that FPOs are essential to the success of agricultural communities and to the improvement of the quality of life for individuals who rely on agriculture for their livelihood. They make it easier for farmers and producers working with limited resources to get their hands on higher pricing, cut down on transportation expenses, and increase output.

The government has been pushing for the inclusion of PACS in the FPO scheme so that farmers can broaden their scope of operations to include the provision of production inputs; the provision of agricultural equipment such as cultivators, tillers, harvesters, etc.; and the provision of processing and value addition services such as cleaning, assaying, sorting, grading, packing, storing, and transporting.

Around 13 crore farmers are members of the PACS, and their main activities include providing short-term finance and selling seeds and fertiliser. More than 86% of farmers in the nation now are considered to be small or marginal.

The government has already taken action to encourage farmers affiliated with PACS to join FPOs in order to provide them with access to better technology, loans, better inputs, and more markets in order to encourage them to produce higher quality commodities.

To that end, the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare created the Central Sector Scheme “Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). To increase output and productivity, as well as to provide post-harvest infrastructure, the National Cooperative Development Commission (NCDC) was established by law and operates under the Ministry of Cooperation.

The NCDC loaned a total of Rs 41,031.39 crore during the 2022-23 financial year. These funds were used for things like food processing, helping the economically disadvantaged, modernising cooperatives with computers, providing loans to young people, and more.

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