Aug 25: Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has signed MoUs with AFC India Limited, and the National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI), Delhi. The objective is to utilize their expertise by mutually working together to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors for bringing better value to the stakeholders.
APEDA has been focusing on collaborative approach to bring synergy with number of organisations and institutions having inherent professional and specialised expertise in different areas for capacity building of various stakeholders and providing solutions for addressing some of the identified interventions for the development of Agriculture and its export enhancement in consonance with the objectives set under Agri Export Policy announced by Government of India. The Agriculture Export Policy was framed with a focus on agriculture export oriented production, export promotion, better price realization to farmer and synchronization within policies and programmes of Government of India. It focuses on “Farmers’ Centric Approach” for improved income through value addition at source itself to help minimize losses across the value chain. Policy therefore suggests to adopt the approach of developing product specific clusters in different agro climatic zones of the country to help in dealing with various supply side issues viz., soil nutrients management, higher productivity, adoption of market oriented variety of crop, use of Good Agriculture Practices etc.
APEDA has relentlessly been engaged with State Governments for the implementation of AEP. The states of Maharashtra, U.P., Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur and Sikkim have finalized the State-specific Action Plan while the action plans of other states are at different stages of finalization. 26 States & 3 UTs have nominated Nodal agencies. State level Monitoring Committees under the Chairmanship of State Chief Secretary have been formed in 21 States.
Twenty Cluster level committees have been formed in the cluster district(s) of Potato in Punjab, U.P. (two separate districts), Isabgol in Rajasthan, Orange, Pomegranate, Grapes, Banana (3 districts) in Maharashtra, Banana in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Mango in U.P., Dairy products in Gujarat, U.P., Rose onion in Karnataka, Fresh vegetables in U.P., Orange in M.P. and Potato in Gujarat (2districts). Two round of meetings have been conducted in the clusters for sensitization of the stakeholders and discussion on the interventions required.
It is in this background that APEDA has signed MoUs with institutions like AFC India Limited and National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI).
Mr. Diwakar Nath Misra, Chairman APEDA and Mr. B.Ganeshan, Managing Director, AFC India Ltd. (formerly Agricultural Finance Corporation Ltd.) signed the MoU. AFC India Ltd., is a deemed to be Govt. organization, wholly owned by Commercial Banks, NABARD and EXIM Bank, established in 1968. It is a multi-disciplinary cross-functional development organization providing consulting, policy advisory and implementation support for agriculture, rural development and other strategic socio-economic sectors in India.
Areas of Cooperation
- AFC India Ltd. shall identify and introduce the critical technology intervention requirement for organic production system as well as chemical/ residue free production system and at the same time also maintain/ enhance the present per unit area production level of the different Crops / Fruits & Vegetables.
- AFC shall facilitate and support for developing the Common Processing Centers in compliance with guidelines of APEDA as per the international market requirements.
- AFC shall endeavor to effectively support the entire value chain system and do the necessary hand holding for commercial viability initially, until these clusters and value chain will become self-sufficient in the shortest possible time.
- AFC shall undertake the ground level implementation of all the activities under export oriented clusters notified under Agri Export Policy and other clusters recommended by APEDA in project mode by seeking the presently available subsidies through different Central Sectors and State sponsored programmes.
- APEDA shall encourage AFC for developing Pre-Production, Production, Post Harvesting, Primary Processing, Secondary Processing and transportation/ distribution guidelines for all the stakeholders (including farmers) to meet international compliance.
- AFC shall work towards the development of cluster identified by APEDA for implementation of various projects in the entire value chain dovetailing and converging schemes of various line Ministries.
The other MoU was signed by Dr. Tarun Bajaj, Director APEDA and Mr. N.Satyanarayana, Chief Executive, NCUI. NCUI is the apex organization of the Cooperative Movement of India registered under the Multi-State Cooperative Societies Act, 2002 whose main objective is to promote and to develop the cooperative movement in India, to educate, guide and assist the people in their efforts to build up and expand the cooperative sector and to serve as an exponent of cooperative opinion in accordance with cooperative principles.
Areas of Cooperation
- To work together to achieve the goal of Doubling the Farmers Income as set out by the Government in its Agri Export Policy (AEP) by providing the benefit for export opportunities to farmers.
- To work towards engaging Cooperatives involved in agricultural production for improving the quality of agri-produce and its consolidation for better price realization to the farmer. APEDA would facilitate exports by the cooperatives identified and trained by NCUI.
- APEDA shall facilitate necessary certifications of agri-produce, organic produce/ farm lands by the cooperatives identified by NCUI.
- To work towards Capacity Development of Agri-Processing and Allied Cooperative Societies/SHGs by organizing various Awareness Programmes, Skill Development Programmes and Workshops at regional, state and national levels.
- Work together to showcase to the Indian and global markets, the products and services being produced/offered by Agri-Produce/Processing Cooperatives by organizing Exhibitions/Trade Fairs/B2B meetings in various parts of the country as mutually decided by both the parties from time to time at regional/state/national levels.
- To compile a Nation-wide Directory of Agri-Produce/Processing Cooperatives.