Joint Director of Agriculture V. Gunasekaran has said that to promote collective farming, three Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), in which 4,500 farmers are stakeholders, have been formed in the district.
Under the system, small and marginal farmers are encouraged to farm Farmers Interest Groups (FIG) to share knowledge on better practices and procure cost effective agricultural machines for increased productivity. Later, five FIGs are integrated to form Farmer Producer Group (FPG) that will be involved in adding value chain to the supply chain of agricultural produce. Each FPG will comprise minimum of 100 farmers and 10 such groups will be federated into an FPO.
Mr. Gunasekaran told media persons that the scheme had received good response from farmers in the district. In 2017-18, 225 FIGs and 45 FPGs were formed and 261 machines were purchased with subsidy of Rs. 2.25 crore. In 2018-19, 220 FIGs and 44 FPGs were formed and 212 machines were purchased with subsidy of Rs. 2.20 crore. He said that all steps were taken to encourage farmers in forming the companies for their benefit.
Officials said that equipment purchased included harvesters, tractors, power drillers, weeders, and rotavators.
Also, farmers were taken to other districts to study various farming activities for value addition to agricultural produce. The officials said that since most of them were small and marginal farmers, purchasing machinery and marketing their products were difficult. Hence, through collective farming they received subsidy to purchase machines for their group and utilise it. “The system helps them access credit facilities and markets without difficulties,” they added.