October 26, 2019
State Govt forming ‘companies’ to make it easier for farmers to grow crops
To make it easier for farmers to get bank loans and various monetary aids from the government, in order to improve the quality and quantity of crops, enable buying of insecticides and pesticides, and get access to the latest technological advances in agriculture, the Bangla Government is helping them set up farmers’ producer companies (FPC), also called farmers’ producer organisations (FPO).
Such FPCs or FPOs are being set up in the districts of Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Bardhaman, Uttar Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri, Purba Medinipur, Paschim Medinipur, North 24 Parganas, Birbhum and Hooghly.
The setting up of FPCs/FPOs begins with the setting up of farmer interest groups (FIG). Ten to 12 farmers (each farmer family can have a maximum of one member) can come together to form a FIG. Those interested will have to pay a minimum Rs 1,000 each and registration fee of Rs 50.
The members together decide the name of a particular FIG. One village can have multiple FIGs. Every FIG has to have three officials – president, secretary and treasurer. Every FIG should also have a savings bank account. At its first meeting, an FIG has to decide how much each member will contribute every month.
Two members from each FIG have to come together to form a cluster group, which is block-based. Every cluster group should also have three officials – president, secretary and treasurer, and a savings bank account.
Eleven to 15 members from each cluster group will come together to form an FPC/FPO. Already 160 such companies have been formed, according to a senior official of the Agriculture Department.
And the companies are reaping success as well. For example, one such group has successfully grown aromatic Dehradun rice in Purba Bardhaman and another in north Bengal has grown pineapples on a commercial scale.
Source: Ei Samay