Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Nitin Gadkari today opined that the products produced by the Farmer Producer Company (FPC) need to be marketed in the domestic and international markets in such a manner that would reduce the cost of production. He was addressing a webinar from Nagpur on ‘Cluster Development in the Agricultural MSME sector. Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Vikas Mahatme, Director of MSME Development Institute, Nagpur Dr. Parlewar, were present on this occasion.
Sh. Gadkari appealed to the representatives of FPC’s in Amravati district who attended the webinar to focus on how to reduce the cost of production as well as transportation and labor costs while increasing production at the same time. He also said that the products should be made available in the domestic market without compromising the quality. After that, the surplus produce should be exported outside the country, he added.
Sh. Gadkari also suggested that the process of reducing the production cost by farmers and cost-cutting in the expenditure by industries in processing will prove beneficial for the industry. He said that a farmer-producer company with a pulses mill cluster could reduce its production and transportation costs through the use of solar rooftops, freight by rail, and use of the dry – port. He also appealed to the farmers to reduce the cost of production by using organic fertilizers from agricultural waste instead of using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Natural resources are available in each district of Vidarbha which can be utilized by Khadi and Village Industries (KVIC) Department and it can prepare a district-wise vision for such Farmer Producers Companies. He also suggested that the Farmer Producers Companies can manufacture products from Honey, Silk available in Chandrapur, cluster for Agarbatti can be established in Bamboo cultivation belts of Chandrapur and Gadchiroli district. Sh. Gadkari also informed regarding the ‘Equipment Bank’ scheme of the Agricultural Department. Under this scheme, the group of farmers and Farmer Producer Companies can buy equipment and can use it among them on a rental basis.
In the Amravati district of Maharashtra, as many as 20,000 farmers are connected with 55 Farmer Producer Companies and agreements were made with companies like Tata International and Walmart for marketing it’s produced. Dr. Parlewar, Director of MSME Development Institute, Nagpur informed that the Common Facility Centers (CFCs) for the production of Farmer Producer Companies are also being established in the Vidarbha region.
Sh. Nitin Gadkari also replied to the queries raised by representatives of Farmer Producer Companies regarding the Orange processing industry and other queries at the end of the webinar. He directed the concerned authorities to hold guidance meet, after the end of the lockdown period in Nagpur for explaining the Schemes available by the Department of Agriculture and MSME to such FPCs. The webinar was attended by representatives of a farmer producer company from Vidarbha and officials of Tata International.