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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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