Income being the most relevant measure to assess farmers’ economic wellbeing and sectoral transformation, NAF’s agri-business division focuses on increasing the farmers income through sustainable market-led solutions.
Indian economy is globally identified as an agrarian economy. Agriculture is called the backbone of our economy as it supports the livelihood of more than 60% of the nation’s population. But the farmers, especially the small land holding farmers, struggle to meet ends on a day-to-day basis due to various issues at both the national and local level. Ironically though, farming is deemed to be economically profitable, but being a farmer is not.
The Founder of NAF, late Mr. C. Subramaniam has been emphasizing on Farmers Corporation with small and marginal farmers as shareholders as a key strategy to sustain farming and engage farmers gainfully in the post liberalization era.
In the past decade, there has been considerable shift in agriculture from “Subsistence farming” to “Market Led” approach. i.e. “Agri – Culture” to Agri – Business”. Thus, collectivization and resource pooling has been the norm for sustainable agribusiness options. Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been identified as engines of change in agribusiness. In order to address the challenges faced by the farmers in making agriculture a profitable business, FPOs are being promoted with handholding support from the Government. FPOs are agribusiness companies (registered under Companies Act 2013) promoted by farmers and primary producers as shareholders. This helps in collectivization of their inputs and resources thereby enabling them to access technology, inputs, credit as well as market thereby realizing the economic benefits from agriculture.
Realising the potential of the FPOs in reconstructing the rural economy, NAF’s Agri- business Development Division functions with the core purpose of focusing on formation, nurturing and strengthening of the FPOs as a profitable and sustainable business model through the application of scientific management principles including branding, marketing, setting up a supply chain, operations management, financial management, value addition, processing, market linkage, digitization etc.
NAF is increasingly focusing on equipping the FPOs and considers these collectives as a strategic tool to achieve the government’s vision of doubling the farmers’ income that deal with farming as a profit-making venture with responsibility to the natural resources and the consumers.
Broadly, promotion of agribusiness and FPOs are done by - building rural entrepreneurship; linking Small & Marginal Farmers to integrated agro-value chains; promoting agro-enterprises and facilitating credit linkages, produce aggregation, value addition and market linkage/tie ups.