Collective farming would help small and marginal farmers overcome constraints in mobilising credit, adopting latest technologies and adding value to their produce, observed speakers at a two-day capacity building training on collective farming which concluded here on Friday.
The State government has launched an initiative to promote collective farming, which envisages pooling of farmers land and resources to derive benefits of large-scale farming.
Under the initiative, collective farming would be encouraged by creating farmers interest groups (FIG), farmers producers groups (FPG) and farmers producer organisations (FPO).
This will enable small and marginal farmers of FIGs to consolidate their holdings, without changing the ownership of land and resources to get the benefit of large scale farming
Addressing farmers at the training, K. Rajamani, Collector, said 275 FIGs have formed in the district through the Department of Agriculture and 100 FIGs through the Department of Horticulture.
Groups of five FIGs were being integrated into FPGs and 75 such FPGs have been formed in the district. About 7,500 small and marginal farmers would benefit from the initiative in the district, he said and urged office bearers of the groups to be role models to the members and work for the welfare of the farming community.
With nearly 92% of farmers in Tamil Nadu being small and marginal farmers with limited capacity to mobilise credit, it is imperative for them to adopt latest technologies and add value to their produce, the initiative aims at the increasing their income through collective farming and pooling of resources.
Keeping this in mind, the concept of collective farming has been introduced, so that small and marginal farmers will have better access to credit, technology and marketing, said Uduman Mohideen, Joint Director of Agriculture, Tiruchi.
S. Shanmugam Deputy Director of Agriculture Technology Management Agency, said about two lakh farmers would be organised into 2,000 FPGs during 2017-18 in the State. Each FPG will be provided a corpus fund of ₹5 lakh though NABARD and Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium. Through collective farming 40 lakh farmers are expected to benefit over a period of 5 years in the State, he said.
Vadivel of Agri Systems Foundation shared success stories of collective farming from all over the state and answered queries of the farmers regarding functioning and maintenance of the groups.
The capacity building training was meant for office bearers of the East zone FPGs of farmers in Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts.