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With a focus on direct exports, APEDA transforms 119 FPOs/FPCs into exporters over a period of five years.

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has taken a number of steps to ensure that more and more of its Scheduled products are exported to newer destinations. In this regard special emphasis is towards the One District One Product and GI products, and also to source these exports from non-traditional areas/states. As on date, APEDA scheduled products are being exported to more than 203 countries/territories, worldwide. To give this a further fillip, more than 27 flag offs were organised in the current financial year.

APEDA is also actively involved in capacity building initiatives for FPOs as they are increasingly recognized as essential aggregators of farm produce, pivotal in streamlining the supply chain and ensuring efficient market access for farmers. With a focus on enabling direct exports, APEDA has transformed 119 FPOs/FPCs into exporters over a period of five years. Through tailored support and guidance, these FPOs have enhanced their capabilities to navigate global markets, amplifying the presence of Indian agricultural products on the international stage.

The agri-export promotion body in collaboration with the Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH), has embarked on a proactive initiative to develop sea protocols tailored for the export of fresh produce to long-distance markets. This strategic endeavour aims to optimize the export process for promising fresh fruits, facilitating efficient transportation and reducing logistics costs. As part of this initiative, trial shipments of mangoes and pomegranates to the USA and the European Union are being planned. In a significant breakthrough, bananas were successfully shipped by sea to the Netherlands in November and to Russia in January. The implementation of sea protocols is poised to enable a quantum increase in exports of items such as bananas, mangoes, pomegranates, and other fresh fruits and vegetables, further enhancing India’s presence in international markets.

With a focus on direct exports, APEDA

The aim of this festival is to raise awareness and create a market for millets and millets-based products among the ASEAN Member states

The Indian Mission to ASEAN in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is organising the ASEAN-India Millet Festival 2023, in Indonesia. The inaugural session of the festival took place in the Kota Kasablanka Mall, a prominent shopping destination in South Jakarta, Indonesia. A Millet-centric exhibition is being held as part of the festival featuring participation from Millet-based FPOs, start-ups and Indian chefs.

Aligned with the International Year of Millets (IYM) celebrations, an aim of this festival is to raise awareness and create a market for millets and millets-based products among the ASEAN Member states i.e. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. During the festival, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is leading a delegation from India, representing a diverse set of professionals engaged in the Indian millet ecosystem, including chefs, start-ups, representatives from Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), industry leaders, state officials and more.

Additional Secretary at DA&FW and Head of the Indian Delegation Dr Maninder Kaur Dwivedi provided valuable insights into millet cultivation, processing and the business potential of these ancient grains. Joint Secretary (Crops) at DA&FW Shubha Thakur showcased India’s leading role in celebrating the International Year of Millets 2023 and the Indian government’s initiatives to encourage the adoption of millets through a captivating video, setting the stage for insightful panel discussions. Additionally, Deputy Head of BPN Dr Andriko Noto Susanto further highlighted the remarkable prospects of millet cultivation and its role in diversifying the South Asian food basket.

The exhibition aims to foster collaboration between ASEAN countries, celebrate cultural and culinary diversity and promote sustainable millet practices for a healthier future. The exhibition will also feature five Indian FPOs, namely Citi Block FPC, Jewargi Taluka Millets FPC, Bhumitrajalalpur, Vaam Agro, and Lambasingi Tribal Products FPC, and two start-ups namely Taru Naturals and Sattva Millets and Food Products (Mibbles) exhibiting unique millet-added products such as millet cookies, namkeen, khakhra, cakes, and more.

The aim of this festival is to

More than 30 FPOs showcased a variety of products including raw millet grains, ready-to-cook (RTC) items, and ready-to-eat (RTE) products

To promote the consumption of millets or ‘Shree Anna’ among the Central Armed Police Personnel, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) hosted a ‘Millets FPO Exhibition for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) under the Ministry of Home Affairs’ on 6 October 2023, at the BSF Camp in Chhawala, New Delhi. More than 30 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) from around the country, showcased a variety of products including raw millet grains, ready-to-cook (RTC) items, and ready-to-eat (RTE) products etc, to approximately 1,000 attendees from various paramilitary forces.

The Exhibition was inaugurated by Shri Faiz Ahmad Kidwai, Additional Secretary, DA&FW, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. He was joined by Maninder Kaur, Additional Secretary, DA&FW and Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops), DA&FW.

In his inaugural speech, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, AS, DA&FW, highlighted how over 75,000 FPOs are working to support small farmers with resources and market connections. He pointed out that 34 millet FPOs from Rajasthan, UP, MP, and Haryana had gathered for the mega event with a dual aim to showcase the variety of millet products in the country and establish direct links with CAPF canteens and departmental stores for future procurement.

Shubha Thakur, JS (Crops), DA&FW, expressed gratitude to the paramilitary forces for their eagerness to embrace millets. She also commended the 34 FPOs for their range of millet products on display & looked forward to a fruitful collaboration between Millet FPOs & paramilitary forces

The exhibition served as an opportunity for the FPOs to interact directly with the armed forces and their families, introducing them to the wide array of home-grown, millet-based products. Additionally, the procurement officers and chefs/cooks also got a chance to witness the diversity of products, ease of millet procurement and linkages with FPOs for future procurement for their respective units during the exhibition.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs took a ground-breaking decision to introduce 30 per cent millet in the meals of personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). In alignment with the celebration of the International Year of Millets, this decision aimed to promote millets as an energy-rich food choice for paramilitary personnel and to support their physically demanding routines, as millets are loaded with fibre, minerals, and essential nutrients. In August 2023, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW) also organized a culinary training session for more than 250 chefs and cooks working with paramilitary forces, including the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police, National Security Guard, Sashastra Seema Bal, and various government canteens. The successful training session acquainted participants with a variety of millet-based recipes, ranging from simple snacks to wholesome meals, which they were eager to incorporate into the daily menus of their canteens and mess facilities.

Over 34 Farmer Producer Organisations showcased and sold their unique range of products to Commandants, Second-in-Commands, Quartermasters, Chefs/Cooks, and their families during the exhibition. Notable highlights of the exhibition included ready-to-eat products like Foxtail Millet Khakhra, Bajra Cookies, Jowar Ladoos, Millet Rusk, Ragi Namkeen, Cakes etc. Guests were not only impressed by the remarkable versatility of these ready-to-eat millet-based sweets and savouries, but they also expressed a keen interest in learning more about millet flours and ready-to-cook items, such as Ragi Idli Mix, Millet Upma and Millet noodles, to incorporate into their daily diets.

More than 30 FPOs showcased a variety

FPOs will receive an assured incentive on each spraying order (acreage wise) while reducing input costs for farmers, improving operational efficiency, and conserving valuable resources.

With an aim to equip farmers with effective tech-enabled solutions, Salam Kisan, India’s fast-growing data-driven end to end agriculture platform that helps increase productivity and profitability for farmers, introduces a first-of-its-kind drone-based spraying service through FPOs on a rental basis for farmers in the Chandrapur district, Maharashtra. This groundbreaking initiative was unveiled by Sudhir Munagantiwar, Cabinet Minister of Finance & Planning, Forests, Government of Maharashtra during the Wild Vegetable Festival 2023 on Independence Day, and he hoisted the national flag using a drone provided by the company. With this initiative, Salam Kisan aims to equip farmers with cutting-edge technology that not only enhances their agricultural practices and promotes sustainable resource usage but also contributes to their economic well-being.

Under this initiative, Salam Kisan has collaborated with Farmers’ Producer Organizations (FPOs) to make drone spraying services easily accessible and affordable to a broader spectrum of farmers. By making drones an efficient and doorstep solution, the company intends to equip farmers with cutting-edge spraying capabilities for seamless pest management and precise use of agrochemicals. It also reduces water wastage by 85-90 per cent and product usage by 20-30 per cent, making strides toward sustainable agriculture.

At the same time, FPOs will receive an assured incentive on each spraying order (acreage wise). While reducing input costs for farmers, improving operational efficiency, and conserving valuable resources, this strategic initiative intends to provide FPOs with financial benefits and upliftment.

The event witnessed the presence of key dignitaries who have significantly contributed to India’s agricultural progress. Accompanying them were Salam Kisan’s special guides, including Akshay Khobragade, COO; Paresh Kullarkar, Agri-Operational Manager, and the pioneering drone pilots Raj Sidam and Amol Kohare.

Dhanashree Mandhani, Founder & CEO, Salam Kisan, said, “At Salam Kisan, we’re committed to empowering rural communities toward resilience and sustainability, and collaborations between public and private entities will be pivotal in implementing change at the grass-roots level.  Our national agriculture policy aims to set up 10,000 new FPOs by 2025 with a focus on revamping agriculture value chains and catalysing the growth of logistics in rural areas.”

“Usually, traditional pump spraying uses 100 – 120 liters of water per acre, and drone spraying uses 10 liters per acre. Traditional spraying is time-consuming and requires manual labor, while drone spraying takes 7 minutes. By making drone service accessible to farmers, we are helping reduce input costs, increase efficiency, and ensure farmers’ safety. At the core, we intend to benefit farmers, our agricultural ecosystem, and FPOs.”  stated Akshay Khobragade, COO, Salam Kisan. 

FPOs will receive an assured incentive on

With this partnership,, will further its mission to drive financial inclusion for farmers and FPOs and offer loans., India’s largest and only profitable grain commerce platform at scale, has announced a strategic partnership with Shivalik Small Finance Bank – a scheduled commercial bank in India. With this business correspondent model partnership,, will further its mission to drive financial inclusion for farmers and FPOs and offer loans through Shivalik Small Finance Bank under Warehouse Receipt Finance.

To bridge the trust deficit in the ecosystem, partners with various financial institutions to offer loans to small and marginal farmers including women, who fall out of the consideration of formal banking.

“We at are thrilled to announce our partnership with Shivalik Small Finance Bank. Shivalik Small Finance Bank’s innovative technology-focused vision and their dedication to serving smallholder farmers perfectly align with our core objective of building trust and transparency in the agricultural value chain. Our collaboration will not only strengthen our ability to promote equitable growth in agriculture but also offer more opportunities for the smallest stakeholders to access financial resources and drive positive change in the industry” said Anand Chandra, Co-founder of, regarding the partnership.

“In line with our vision to focus on small and underserved segments through the delivery of digitally focused, affordable products and differentiated customer experience, partnership with will enable us to stay connected with the farmers directly.’s digitized processes, AI enabled systems and customized solutions it offers us the additional layer of professional assurance we require at all levels.” said Anshul Swami, MD & CEO Shivalik Small Finance Bank.

In today’s landscape, the adoption of high-tech banking capabilities is more crucial than ever to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry and diverse borrower base.  Alliances like these enable ease of business for seamless lending processes, more efficient operations for end-users, and create new opportunities for digital engagement.

With this partnership,, will further its

Crop-specific SOPs issue for use of pesticides with farming drones

The book titled ‘Machinery for Millets Production, Processing & Value Addition’ released

Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare released Crop Specific ‘Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Application of Pesticides with Drones’ in the public domain for the guidance of farmers and other stakeholders. Tomar also released a booklet titled ‘Machinery for Millets Production, Processing and Value Addition’. On this occasion, Tomar said that agriculture is our priority, so whether it is research or initiating schemes, the first priority of the government is to promote agriculture and improve the financial condition of the farmers. There are many challenges in the Agriculture sector. To retain the farmers, attract the new generation and increase the remuneration of the farmers by reducing the cost of production. For this, technical support in the agriculture sector is very important, the government is making continuous efforts in this direction.

Under the Agricultural Mechanization Sub-Mission, ICAR institutes, KVKs, SAUs, other State/Central Government Agricultural Institutes and Government of India PSUs engaged in agricultural activities are provided financial assistance at the rate of 100 per cent of the drone cost (up to Rs. 10 lacks per drone) besides Contingent Expenses for the purpose of demonstration of drones in the farmers’ fields. FPOs are given grant-in-aid at the rate of 75 per cent for the purchase of drones for a demonstration on farmers’ fields. For the purpose of providing agricultural services through the use of drones, financial assistance is given at the rate of 40 per cent of the original cost of the drone by CHCs to Farmers Cooperative Society, FPOs and Rural Entrepreneurs for the purchase of drones, subject to a maximum of Rs.4 lakh. Agricultural Graduates setting up CHCs are provided financial assistance up to Rs. 5 lacks at the rate of 50 per cent of the cost of drones. Individual small and marginal farmers, SC-ST farmers, women farmers and farmers of North-Eastern states will also get 50 per cent of the cost of the drone subject to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh while other farmers are eligible for assistance at 40 per cent of the cost of the drone, subject to a maximum of Rs. 4 lakhs.

Crop-specific SOPs issue for use of pesticides

The new program, MANDI, aims to benefit 50,000 farmers by end of 2023

Mastercard and ACCESS Development Services announced the launch of a new program in Assam focused on empowering farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) in the state. The program, Mainstreaming Agriculture through Networks and Development Initiatives, or MANDI, aims to strengthen FPOs by helping build their capacity through structured technical assistance by a professional cadre of trainers.

According to the ACCESS baseline survey of FPOs in Guwahati, 95 per cent of organisations cited access to markets as their key challenge along with a lack of financial services and the awareness and knowledge to avail of government schemes.

Mastercard and ACCESS are aiming to help address these challenges by facilitating training frameworks, curricula, and tools for FPOs. The program will focus on accelerating growth and development among FPOs and enhancing the financial literacy among farmers by Training them in best agricultural practices, Improving their access to market linkages, and digital tools, Generating awareness about financial services along with the available government schemes
The program has been operational on a pilot basis in Assam for the last six months and has been able to onboard 83 FPOs to date. As it continues, MANDI aims to benefit 50,000 farmers by the end of 2023.

The launch event was attended by Sankar Das, AGM, NABARD, Dr Jayanta Sharma, Senior Scientist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kahikuchi, Dr Lalit Sharma, Director, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, and other distinguished guests.

Vipin Sharma, CEO, ACCESS Development Services, said, “The adoption of agritech solutions has played a vital role in streamlining the supply chains and addressing diverse challenges related to market linkages and access to financial services. There is a need to strengthen FPOs through technology to ensure increased connectivity and enhanced productivity. We are thrilled to collaborate with Mastercard and facilitate the tools, curriculum, and skills to ensure long-term sustainability for FPOs.”

Gautam Aggarwal, Division President, South Asia, Mastercard, said, “FPOs face several challenges to growth due to lack of digital infrastructure and technical skills. The MANDI program aims to address these issues by establishing a sustainable model that bolsters the resilience of smallholder farmers as well as supports self-reliance for FPOs by equipping them with knowledge, digital tools, and training. This initiative advances the Government of India’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and reiterates Mastercard’s commitment to connecting more people to the digital economy, including those who earn their livelihoods from agriculture.”

The new program, MANDI, aims to benefit

To address hidden hunger and the resultant malnutrition

Grameen Foundation India (GFI), together with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and HarvestPlus hosted a one-day workshop on the “Scaling up Biofortified Crop through System Integration” in Lucknow. 

The workshop’s objective was to provide the findings and outcomes of GFI’s recently-conducted research study while also discussing the changes brought about by the implementation of the project connected to the growing of biofortified crops.

Mr Ravinder Grover, Program Lead (Global) of HarvestPlus, led the discussions on the concept of cultivating biofortified crops to address hidden hunger and the resultant malnutrition. 

Biofortified crops, in this case wheat fortified with zinc, was tried out in nine districts of the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh via 1,004 small and marginal farmers who are members of 27 farmer-producer organisations (FPOs). The project was implemented with financial and technical support of GAIN and HarvestPlus, and led by GFI’s project director, Rajnikant Prasad.

The project aimed at making a beginning in eradicating micronutrient deficiency in the region by increasing the uptake of consumption and cultivation of biofortified crops.

To address hidden hunger and the

PM Modi works on an action plan to end inequality in the country 

The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar during the 8th General Meeting in Pune said that the Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is working towards the development of villages-the poor and farmers, making their lives better.

Tomar said that in 2015 the Prime Minister had said that farmers’ income should be doubled. Towards this goal, the Central and State governments, along with FPOs and all other organisations related to Agriculture, worked together, which is benefiting the farmers of the country today. The income of lakhs of farmers has increased from more than double to five to ten times, and for the first time in the country a scheme has been launched which accords dignity to the farmers. 

He said that the government has set up the Agri Infra Fund worth IRs one lakh crore to boost agricultural infrastructure. Besides, packages worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore have been rolled out for Agriculture and allied works in the villages. Projects worth INR 14,000 crores has already been approved from under the Agri Infra Fund. 

The benefits will start percolating to the farmers in the coming days.  Tomar said that there are 86 percent small farmers in the country; in order to empower them 10,000 new FPOs are being constituted. The government is trying to provide all the necessary facilities to the farmers.

PM Modi works on an action plan

Discussions were held on prospects, challenges, technologies and strategies 

The ICAR-Research Complex for North-Eastern Hill Region, Meghalaya recently organised a two-day National Conference on “Agri-Start-Ups: Prospects, Challenges, Technologies and Strategies (AGRiPACTS – 2022)” at Manan Kendra, Gangtok, Sikkim.

The conference focussed on agri-business ecosystems, potential technologies, IPR technologies and commercialisation, challenges faced by ecosystem builders and agri startups and convergence among stakeholders.

The Chief Guest, Lok Nath Sharma, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Service, Government of Sikkim highlighted the importance of organic farming and initiatives for the highest purity standards to create opportunities and demand for the agricultural products from Sikkim to the other parts of the country and globe. The Government of Sikkim’s initiatives for the widespread marketing opportunities and self-sufficiency achieved in milk production were also underlined by the Minister.

The Guest of Honor, Prof Avinash Khare, Vice-Chancellor, Sikkim University, Sikkim emphasised the branding of the agricultural products and processed items from Sikkim for marketing for sustainability and income generation of employment.

P Vaiphei, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur outlined the importance of developing Entrepreneurs in agriculture particularly, in organic products.

The need for the product development and issues of quality at start-ups / Farmers’ Producers’ Organizations and Entrepreneurs to reach customer level through networking was stressed by Dr K Srinivas, ADG (IP&TM), ICAR.

Earlier, Dr R Laha, Joint Director, ICAR-Research Complex for NEH Region, Sikkim Centre delivered the welcome address.

More than 500 participants from all over the country including 70 Scientists / Venture or Business Experts; 75 office bearers/members of farmers’ producers’ companies / Organizations (FPCs / FPOs); 20 successful agri-start-ups and 120 state officials from all over the North-East Region, etc., participated in the conference.

Discussions were held on prospects, challenges, technologies

A day-long workshop was recently organised by the Confederation of NGOs of Rural India on FPOs where experts deliberated on potentially viable and efficient ways for farmers upliftment

A day-long workshop was recently organised by the Confederation of NGOs of Rural India (CNRI) on FPOs. The workshop was supported by Dhanuka Agritech; Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA); Central for Political Studies, JNU and Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management (Vamnicom).

Small Farmers’ Agri-business Consortium (SFAC) has informed that more than 50 per cent Farmers’ Producer Organisation (FPOs) promoted by SFAC under various government programmes are potentially viable and efficient while some others are in nascent stages of development. It is expected that given the right ecosystem support, especially infusion of capital in agri-infrastructure through credit mobilisation from banks and NBFCs, they could be a real game-changer and contribute to increasing the income of member farmers substantially.

Speaking at a national workshop on ‘Strengthening Ecosystem of Farmers’ Producer Organizations’ Neelkamal Darbari, MD, SFAC, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer Welfare, Government of India said, “The government has taken up the very challenging cause of creating financial and marketing linkages for aggregation of farmers through a Central Sector scheme for creation of 10,000 FPOs across the country. The scheme is under implementation through different Implementing Agencies, which have already created more than 1770 FPOs. These FPOs have the potential to be viable entities, but the biggest challenge they are confronted with is the lack of finance from banks.”

RG Agarwal, Group Chairman, Dhanuka Agritech, expressed concern about the spurious agriculture inputs. “There is little difference in the area under cultivation between India and China, but China’s agriculture GDP is three times higher than India mainly because of quality products used in China as against India wherein a large chunk of products are spurious, resulting in lower production. It is the need of the hour to take strict action against spurious manufactures of fertilisers and pesticides,” he said.

During the workshop, Binod Anand, Secretary General, CNRI; Dr Surendra Nath Tripathi, DG, IIPA; Dr KK Tripathy, OSD, Minister of Cooperation; Arun Raste, MD & CEO, NCDEX; S Sivakumar, Group Head, ITC, Agri & IT Business; Hema Yadav, Professor & Director, VAMNICOM; Sachin Sharma, Associate Professor and Sushil Singla, Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of Himachal Pradesh among others expressed their thoughts on various issues related to farmers and FPOs.

A day-long workshop was recently organised by