The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mandi & Enabling Women of Kamand (EWOK) Society has inked a tripartite deal with the National Bank For Agriculture and Rural Development for setting up three Farmer Producer Organization in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. NABARD has sanctioned an amount of Rs 35 lakhs to EWOK Society and IIT Mandi for 3 FPOs to be established in the next 3 years, according to a statement by IIT Mandi.
It must be noted that EWOK, is an initiative of IIT Mandi Women’s Center to aid rural women set up small enterprises in 5 panchayats of Kataula, Katindhi, Navlaya, Batheri and Kamand in Mandi by giving them proper guidance, training & information. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the three sides, IIT Mandi & EWOK Society will identify clusters to set up Farmer Producer Organizations, help establish and register the FPOs, train the CEO & Board of Directors of FPOs, besides making the business development plan & helping them in raising credit.
Apart from establishing Farmer Producer Organizations, the institute will provide its knowledge in tourism, rural marts run by Self-Help Groups, engineering solutions for farm-friendly equipment, research on impact of climate change on agri incomes etc, the statement said.
The Memorandum of Understanding was inked by IIT Mandi’s Sponsored Research & Industrial Consultancy Dean Venkata Krishnan, Secretary of EWOK Society Sandhya Menon & Chief General Secretary, NABARD Nilay Kapoor on 22 February 2020.
Commenting on the deal Kapoor said, “I am sure our partnership will go a long way in solving the problems of cultivators of the state and attaining the dream of doubling of farmers’ income”.
Menon said, “The support from National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has come at the right time to expand these programmes to ensure a sustainable model in income generation for growers in the long run in this area.”
EWOK, in the upcoming years, will play its role to form Farmer Producer Organizations and guide in building their business activity & market linkages, she told adding that the society would continue to focus on skills development & increasing the income of women & families in the surrounding rural regions, especially through entrepreneurship.
What is FPO?
A FPO is basically a group of farm producers, with members as the shareholders in an organization. It is a registered body that deals with business activities related to farm produce and also works for the benefit of the member producers.