KOCHI: The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in its role as the Producers’ Organisation Promoting Institution (POPI) has rolled out a business plan to bolster the two farmer producer companies nurtured by it. Under this, the Vypeen-based Pokkali Farmer Producer Company and Kothamanagalam-headquartered Nutmeg Farmer Producer Company will be able to do away with middlemen and export the produce from their members directly.
It will also take the initiative to set up an Agro Input Shop where the farmers will be provided with quality input methods/equipment for meeting their needs along with farmer facilitation centres.
“Everybody will think of devising plans for production improvement in agriculture centre. But the major issues faced by farmers is the low price commanded by the products. They will have to depend on third parties for agro inputs. The involvement of middlemen/intermediary in production and sales is another reason for the poor prices for the end product.
These situations must change. This is why the KVK is focused on setting up the Agro Input Shop. The business model also includes strengthening the Farmer Producer Companies and ensure a situation where a genuine buyer/exporter will be buying products directly from the farmers,” said KVK senior scientist and head Shinoj Subramanian.
The farmer producer companies were launched by KVK with the `18 lakh assistance provided by Nabard. The Pokkali Farmer Producer Company will implement plans to boost pokkali paddy cultivation, fish seeding unit for shrimp and fish seed production, stocking and supply, centralised nursery and branding pokkali under a single trade mark. Meanwhile, the Nutmeg Farmers’ Producer Company will focus on Nutmeg graft production, supply, establishment of collection centres, drying and processing units and branding of the produce.
“Presently, we have set up a 10- member board for each company. A total of 50 members were given membership in each company which will be increased during the implementation stages. We are expecting a total of 2,000- 3,000 members in each company. Each member should be a farmer and their membership cannot be transferred,” said Shinoj.
He said the nutmeg farmers will be given training on splitting, assorting and other aspects of cultivation. “Since nutmeg cultivation is seasonal, the farmer producer companies will look into cultivation of items like Birds Eye chili (Kanthari chilly) and turmeric, which have high demand among exporters,” said Shinoj.
However, the `18 lakh allocated by the Centre will not suffice for the implementation of business modules which are intended to double the income of the farmers. “As both the companies consist of genuine farmers, we believe the big establishments will help them by undertaking the works as part of their Corporate Social responsibility (CSR),” said Shinoj.