There isn’t a doubt in any respect that agriculture is the lifeline of the Indian financial system and roughly half of India’s workforce is engaged on this sector. Nevertheless, its contribution to the gross worth added (GVA) is just about 18 per cent with challenges comparable to low productiveness and wastages, which interprets to decrease farm incomes. Thoughts you that there are a number of alternatives in Indian agriculture at present to attain sustainable development and productiveness, given the grit and dedication of Indian farmers and a proactive authorities. There are a lot of who firmly consider that the Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) can remodel agriculture.
Chatting with Bizz Buzz completely, Pankaj Ajmani, vice-president & enterprise head, Kissandhan Agri Monetary Companies Pvt Ltd, says that there are some essential pathways out there to us to surmount the present challenges going through the Indian agriculture and one in every of these methods, is the facility of FPOs and the facility of aggregation. The Centre has taken very far sighted steps to advertise FPOs with multi-dimensional schemes to assist capability constructing and worth addition. That is the pivot that may remodel Indian agriculture.
What has been your expertise up to now on this new space?
We’ve been an agri financing firm working out there for practically 25 years or so. We have been principally into commodity based mostly financing. Then we received into giving joint legal responsibility group mortgage, which is all however funding NBFCs, working as Micro Finance Institutes. After all, the end-use must be agriculture. See, farmers weren’t getting correct costs for no matter they have been producing. They weren’t getting correct costs for inputs they have been buying both. Whereas in case of promoting their produces they have been getting decrease costs and whereas getting buying inputs, they have been should pay increased costs. So the entire thought was to make sure that the farmers get their inputs at correct costs and promote their produces out there at correct costs via the FPOs. From the final yr we received into this.
With the central authorities’s deal with growing FPOs in India, Farmers Producer Organisations (FPO) are arising in a giant manner. Final yr, the Union Authorities had accepted and launched the central sector scheme of formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to setup and promote 10,000 new FPOs until 2027-28 with a complete budgetary outlay of Rs 6,865 crore. At current, Kissandhan, a subsidiary of SLCM Group and is a RBI regulated non-banking finance firm (NBFC), has greater than 48 FPOs via which it is ready to impression the livelihoods of 47,000-odd small holder farmers.
So what’s your goal, going ahead?
Aligning with the federal government’s plan, Kissandhan, India’s main multi-asset agri finance firm, has plans to extend their numbers of on-boarded FPOs. The corporate is concentrating on 100+ FPOs of their portfolio by the top of the present monetary yr. The corporate has disbursed greater than Rs 2,500 crore as on July 31, 2022. Curiously, we’re eyeing 15 per cent of FPOs enterprise from the State of West Bengal. As a part of the technique, the corporate has already signed round 4 FPOs not too long ago protecting a small and marginal farmer base of greater than 4,000 within the State of West Bengal and disbursed Rs 1 crore of mortgage to them.
What are your nationwide plans like?
As I discussed earlier that we received into this practically one yr in the past, to be extra exact, Kissandhan has began its FPO enterprise in June 2021. At the moment the corporate has greater than 48 FPOs throughout the nation, via which it is ready to impression the livelihoods of 47,000 small holder farmers. Kissandhan is concentrating on to tie-up with 100 FPOs which can additional impression the livelihoods of 75,000 to 1 lakh small holder farmers by the top of present monetary yr. Out of 100, the corporate is anticipating 15 FPOs can be from West Bengal.
Since you’re repeatedly mentioning about West Bengal as one in every of your technique markets, might you please throw some extra lights in your plans for West Bengal?
Actually! Kissandhan needs to impression livelihoods of greater than 15,000 small and marginal farmers of West Bengal throughout FY23 by offering lending facility to the FPOs in the direction of provide of inputs (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides) to the farmers throughout sowing time. And we’d additionally prefer to make instantaneous availability of the funds to the farmers throughout harvesting season.
The corporate has focused Mednipur East and Mednipur West within the first section and can discover the chance in different cities of Bhardhaman, North and South Parganas within the second section. Together with exploring the potential of FPOs within the state, the corporate can also be strengthening its enterprise staff throughout West Bengal.
At current, that are the states that come below your protection?
We’re based mostly out of Delhi and have our protection in states like Maharashtra, MP, UP, Rajasthan, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat. The corporate has disbursed greater than Rs 2,600 crore as on October 31, 2022.
Aside from offering funds or monetary assist, do you supply another helps to the farmers or do you will have any plans on this regards?
No at this cut-off date, we don’t present another assist to the farmers apart from funds. However going ahead, we definitely have plans (and in reality we’ve got drawn up blueprint for that as nicely) to offer them market linkages. We’re already in talks with among the massive corporations like ITC, Reliance recent and others to offer the farmers the a lot wanted market linkages, in order that they’ll promote their harvests at correct costs and in correct method. We’re already engaged on this. The final word goal is to assist the farmers make finest use of the funds they get.
Are the small and marginal farmers conscious of the advantages they’re prone to get from the FPOs?
Sadly, not all of them are conscious. And due to this fact our precedence is to create full consciousness by all means, utilizing totally different types of media. That is our prime precedence. Except they’re conscious, the entire thought will get defeated.
So, any plans to achieve out to the farmers immediately?
We’re a B2B organisation and as of now we’re not reaching out to the farmers immediately. We function and work via the FPOs. However we’re understanding plans in order that we will immediately attain out to the farmers, create consciousness, impart trainings and all that. As we’re shifting alongside these new and new fashions and techniques are evolving.