Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Taking cue from its ongoing model in Maharashtra, the National Agricultural Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) is planning to invest in Odisha by partnering with farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), its Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Chadha said on Saturday.
The federation has started this initiative at 25 places in Maharashtra and it is going to replicate the same in Odisha, Chadha said at a webinar titled, ‘Farmer Producer Organisations: Nafed’s Vision for Odisha,’ organised by the Odisha Corporate Foundation (OCF), a non-profit organisation of the State.
Nafed aims at promoting cooperative marketing of agricultural produce to benefit farmers, who are important members of Nafed, Chadha said. “We are now working with a different perspective and have devised plans to work towards linking the producers with the buyers by ensuring certain produce reach the proper market. This facility will be implemented in Odisha and Karnataka on a pilot basis. In the current marketing ecosystem, the new agriculture policy of the central government has created several opportunities for FPOs,” Chadha maintained.
The federation is now emphasising on educating the producers on FPO and is planning to set up 100 FPOs in Odisha, Chadha added.
The federation’s additional MD Pankaj Kumar Prasad described in detail the objectives and functions of Nafed and its associate organisation – the Federation of Indian FPOs and Aggregators (FIFA), which Nafed took over with an aim to support farmers by providing them market linkages and post-harvest infrastructure.
He also threw light on agriculture portal e-kisan, which allows farmers to showcase their produce online to wholesalers to bid remotely and sell directly without depending on middlemen.
FIFA has made an agreement with the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan University of Bhubaneswar for incubation and training facility, he revealed.
“It is high time the state gave utmost importance to agriculture for sustainable development,” said former chief secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik. “It is a good sign that educated and informed youths are now opting for agriculture as a profession. Organic farming is in vogue. We need to work towards commercialisation of agriculture,” he said, adding, FPOs will get a good market through Nafed.
Co-founder and Director of Ecociate Consultants Kirti Prasanna Mishra moderated the webinar, according to an official release issued by OCF.