NABARD, SFAC ink deal for development of small farm producers

Bhubaneswar: A memorandum of understanding was
signed between National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) in New Delhi in order to bring the
two institutions in close coordination for implementing schemes for promotion
of Producer Organisations.
The MoU was signed by NABARD chairman Dr. Harsh
Kumar Bhanwala and SFAC managing director Pravesh Sharma in the presence Union
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
The SFAC is implementing a scheme of the Union Government
whereby the Producer Organisations (POs) are given equity support and the
financing banks are given credit guarantee cover to enable formation of
POs.  In the emerging scenario, the large
number of small farmers in the country needs technical, technological and
business intervention for improving the productivity, production and market
access.  While both NABARD and SFAC have
been working on this theme, it was considered necessary to have a formal
understanding between them to achieve synergy in their efforts.
NABARD will proactively leverage the benefits of the
equity grant and credit guarantee fund for FPOs set up by SFAC to ensure that
finance for producer company flows smoothly. 
Further, in organizing ground level workshops, seminar, creating awareness
and capacity building amongst the farmers, NABARD would leverage its
development expertise.  NABARD has
already committed to promote 2,000 Producer Organization in the next 2 to 3
years.  Signing of this MoU will provide
impetus to the efforts of both the organisations.  We understand it is the beginning of
collaboration between NABARD and SFAC and there will be separate agreements in
respect of bigger initiatives emerging from this collaboration.
SFAC has also been enrolled as the procurement agency
by the Ministry of Agriculture in respect of Oil, Seeds and Pulses.  During the last 2 years SFAC has demonstrated
its capability of executing such programmes and wish to enhance further with
the help of credit support from NABARD. 
NABARD would actively collaborate at national, state and district level
with the SFAC by participating in the Food Security Mission and also under
Executive Committee as Member.  NABARD
Chairman informed that NABARD has a fund of Rs 50 crore (PODF) for supporting
Producers Organisations.
Speaking on the occasion Union Minister Singh
appreciated the efforts of both the institutions to work together to fullfil
their mandates efficiently.

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