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Boosting Farmers’ Financial Status Through Revolutionary FPO

With the aim of creating clusters of farmers engaged in diversified farming, IAS officer Aunjaneya Kumar Singh had started Farmer Producers Company The early success included solar-powered cold storage and later ‘Aahar se Upchaar’ Implementation of zero-waste agriculture planning, linking allied activities, and direct consumer connection are part of the initiative
Indian Masterminds Stories

In the midst of challenging times for the agriculture sector, IAS officer Aunjaneya Kumar Singh had spearheaded a groundbreaking initiative in 2020 as the then District Magistrate of Rampur. Since then, the initiative has gained national recognition for its innovative approach to agriculture and community welfare. The Farmer Producers Company (FPC) has emerged as a game-changer for farmers in the region, providing them with newfound opportunities and resilience.

Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Singh, who is the Divisional Commissioner of Moradabad now, shared about the initiative and its outcome till date.

Aunjaneya Kumar Singh IAS

FARMER PRODUCERS COMPANY

Recognizing the importance of agriculture and its vital role in providing employment and contributing to the GDP, Mr. Singh had conceptualized an idea that later came to be known as the Farmer Producers Company (FPC). The aim was to create a cluster of farmers engaged in diversified farming, focusing on storage, high-value grains, local market availability, marketing, branding, self-reliance, biodiversity, and technical training.

After extensive talks with farmers and holding numerous meetings, the first Rampur Krishak FPO was formed in July 2020, initially with only four farmer members. Guided by the principles of Trust, Transparency, and Togetherness (3T), the FPO embarked on a journey to address the challenges faced by farmers in the region.

The officer informed that right now, there are around 80 FPOs in the Moradabad division and all are actively working. He further informed that they have connected them to online marketing, which is their own kind of marketing named OC Ganga Products portal, which have the contact numbers of FPOs. “From online to offline marketing, shopping, developing local market, connecting them directly with the customers, we are working on it all,” the officer added. 

SOLAR-POWERED COLD STORAGE

One of the early successes of the FPO was the establishment of a solar-powered cold storage facility. “We were discussing about storage where farmers can hold things when the price is not good in the market. But, what about vegetables and food? So, then came the idea of solar cold storage,” Mr. Singh shared with Indian Masterminds.

Mobile Solar Cold Storage

This facility played a crucial role in preserving produce for an extended period. Bolstered by this success, four more solar-powered cold stores with a total capacity of 100 metric tonnes were set up, contributing to increased market access and enhanced earnings for farmers.

AHAAR SE UPCHAAR

The FPO did not stop at storage facilities but took up the cause of promoting chemical-free and nutritious agricultural products. Mr. Singh launched the “Ahaar Se Upchaar” campaign in November 2020, aimed at raising awareness about diverse farming and encouraging the consumption of healthy products like Millets, Kodo, Quinoa, Black wheat, Mushroom, Amla, Linseed, Sesame, and Moringa. This campaign has yielded positive results, with improved nutritional levels observed among children who received nutrition kits.

Aahaar Se Upchaar

SAMVARDHAN-SUPOSHIT RAMPUR EK PAHAL

The impact of this initiative in Rampur caught the attention of authorities, and Mr. Singh’s successor, Ravindra Kumar Mander IAS, continued and expanded the programme, renaming it ‘Samvardhan-Suposhit Rampur ek Pahal’. The initiative gained widespread support, including from the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, who suggested implementing it in other districts of the state. As a result, the initiative has been replicated through 22 FPOs in eight other districts of Uttar Pradesh.

The Samvardhan-Suposhit initiative has proven to be effective in assisting malnourished children and improving nutritional management. It has created greater awareness of malnutrition within the community, making a significant impact without requiring additional government financing.

The revolutionary model has been awarded by various organizations, including ICAR Hyderabad, and has become a beacon of hope for farmers facing economic challenges.

SHORTCOMINGS AND RECTIFICATIONS

However, Mr. Singh acknowledged that there are still some shortcomings that need to be addressed to ensure the sustainability and fast growth of the FPOs. One of the areas of focus is linking allied activities with agriculture, as well as implementing zero-waste agriculture planning. Promoting the purity of food and convincing farmers and consumers to embrace healthy and chemical-free options remain key challenges. “We have to convince farmers and people to grow and eat healthy, and FPO is the only way out. So far, we have reached 5-10% only.”

Mr. Singh and his team are actively working on connecting FPOs directly with consumers to build trust and facilitate direct marketing. They are optimistic that establishing a strong bond between farmers and consumers will lead to further growth and success for the FPOs.

“We hardly discuss about consumers. So, we are working on connecting FPOs directly with the consumers so that trust between the two is established,” he said.


Indian Masterminds Stories

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