FPOs i.e Farmer Producer Organisations, in our country there are around 5000 FPOs promoted by NABARD, SFAC and other agencies. Majority of FPOs are inactive in output aggregation and marketing. This COVID19 pandemic comes with lots of challenges hence there is always an opportunity in every challenge. FPOs can be a perfect solution. Developing a successful value chain in vegetables in clusters around metros in India by leveraging e-Nam, Kisan Rath and other e-marketing platforms
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a massive slowdown in all sectors and agriculture is not an exception for this. India having vegetable production 185 mt stood second in the world but due to this pandemic situation farmers are bearing massive loss in farming. The fruits and vegetables are being thrown out on roads wherein cities they are suffering hard to get. It is not due to improper supply chain
“Every cloud has a silver lining”
due to this pandemic situation, farmers in the Pune area forced to undergo do or die situation which sparks the activation of FPO which was formed by them a long year back. Leveraging the simple digital technology through WhatsApp and UPI payments apps, they started a small business of delivery of the fresh vegetable basket to the doorstep at Pune. The pilot project gave a good response from customers and day by day the number of orders is increasing.
The same model is getting picked by many FPOs in Pune and other metro city areas. FPOs are playing a vital role in the distribution of fresh vegetables at the doorstep. Here is a win-win situation for all the stakeholders in this value chain.
Opportunities for FPOs for output marketing of agro-produce through farm to fork model
- The people in metro areas are not ready to go out and purchase the vegetables from the market.
- Lack of trust and transparency in the supply chain due to an outbreak of COVID-19
- The farm to fork model brings a trust of safety by minimizing the human intervention as well as the number of intermediaries.
- APMC market in metros is not working with their full capacity resulting in shortages of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- People are paying more attention to their safety and health so a transparent farm to fork supply chain through FPOs will change the game.
Developing an Ecosystem
The central government launched Kisan Rath Mobile App recently. e-NAM has launched FPO trading module due to this about 977 FPOs are integrated with the e-NAM platform, out of which 10% of FPOs have already started trading on the platform.
FPO Module by e-NAM
This module is developed to allow FPOs for uploading of details of produce from their collection centres. This will not only decongest the mandis but also reduce the logistics cost for the FPOs and hence benefit the farmers eventually.
considering the current prevailing situation there are some challenges in front of FPOs.
- The current farm to fork model is not effective in the case of horticultural crops.
- The post-harvest activities require technological intervention which is costly.
- The adverse climatic changes one day prior to harvesting creating shortages in the supply chain.
- The orders are taken through WhatsApp and call there is no proper digital platform for receiving orders and payment.
There is a need for the intervention of intermediaries to support FPOs for developing such models which will help for the transformation of the farmer to an agripreneur. In forthcoming days’ digitization of agriculture, will plays a pivotal role in Indian agriculture.
(Views expressed are personal.)
Read more on FPOs the way forward