Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is all set to create a new body, dedicated to the farmers.
The new body will assist enterprising farmer producer organisations (FPOs) in investing in projects for post-harvest infrastructure management and community farming assets with the help of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) that the Centre had announced in August.
The body will be for farmers what Udyog Bandhu is for the industrial entrepreneurs.
According to official sources, the new body will be headed by an official who will be designated as the chief executive officer (CEO), and will be assisted by officials drawn from other departments such as agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, dairy development on deputation.
The Uttar Pradesh government will also coordinate with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to help FPOs get loans from banks as working capital or to set up food processing units, cold stores, branding and packaging units, warehouses among others. Each FPO will be entitled to a maximum loan of Rs two crore.
The FPOs can operate at district, state and national level for the product identified as per their requirement of processing, branding and marketing. The ‘One district, One product’ policy will get a thrust under this initiative.
Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, said that the FPOs Policy, 2020 would be sent to the state cabinet for its approval soon.
“We have already made a presentation of the policy before Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Now, it will be sent for the cabinet’s approval,” he said.
Chaturvedi said the policy would be a game-changer for the rural economy.
The state aims to set up 1,000 FPOs. Each block will have an FPO, comprising between 300 and 500 farmers.