SRINAGAR, JULY 9, 2020: ‘A minimum of 60 new Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) will be setup across Jammu and Kashmir in the current financial year’, informed Principal Secretary, Agriculture Department, Navin K. Choudhary, while chairing first Steering Committee meeting of FPOs held here today.

Principal Secretary directed that a minimum of three FPOs per district in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will be the target for the current financial year in addition to 16 FPOs which are already in existence and functional. He informed that 42 additional proposals for setting up of FPOs submitted by Director NRLM will also be examined on merits for approval.

Explaining the concept and scheme of FPOs, DGM NABARD informed the participants that these can be set up for one produce in a cluster based approach. Further, FPOs can also be combined to form an apex FPO at district level or even at a bigger geographical unit. Ideally, FPOs can be of minimum 50 members to make it an effective organization. He also explained in detail about the support NABARD will provide in the initial years for their commencement of functions.

GM NABARD explained that in addition to one time support from NABARD, the FPOs can obtain credit up to Rs. 2.00 crore from banks and other financial institutions. Sunil Gupta, Conveyor UTLBC affirmed that this will be explained to all banks and proposals approved will be submitted to NABARD for accessing Credit Guarantee Fund.

Principal Secretary said that the goal should be to have at least one FPO in each block of the UT in next two years. He asked that FPOs should be setup not only for fruits, vegetables, value based products like honey, mushroom but also for different sectors like dairy, fisheries etc. He directed that heads of departments of these allied sectors shall be the permanent invitees in the Steering Committee. It was also decided that this Steering Committee will meet every month to take stock of the progress made so far.

Principal Secretary asked GM NABARD to share their Annual Credit Plan for each district with all HoDs of the primary sector besides providing one page brief on all NABARD schemes to them to create awareness about the same.

The meeting among others was attended by Inderjeet, Director Agriculture, Jammu, Rubina Kousar, Director State Rural Livelihood Mission (Representative of RDD), Ajaz Altaf Andrabi, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Babu Ram, Additional Secretary APD, Ashok Kumar, Additional Secretary Cooperatives Department, Dr. H.S. Arora, Director, Planning, APD, S. Singh, GM, NABARD, Anamika, DGM, NABARD, Dr. S.K Gupta, Director Extension, SKAUST Jammu, Jyoti Kachroo, Professor & Head, AEABM, SKAUST Jammu, Sunil Gupta, Convener J&K Bank, Representative of NCDC, New Delhi and Vijay Kumar Upadhaya, Technical Officer, APD.