1. Agriculture World

UNDP, UPSRLM & Arya signs three-way partnership to empower women in the agribusiness value chain

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap
UNDP, UPSRLM & Arya signs three-way partnership to empower women in the agribusiness value chain

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM) and Arya, have signed on a three-way partnership to empower women in the agribusiness value chain and enhance their voice in financial decision making and the ability to drive collective action.

Through this initiative, they have completed their first market linkage transaction with Sheetala Mata Prerna Producer Group, an FPO based out of Arajiline village in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh which sold 251 quintals of paddy to Maa Mundeshwari Mini Rice Mills.

This deemed as a profitable transaction for the FPO as post making all the payments, the FPO made Rs 10,000 as profit in the arrangement, that too post giving 15% higher price to farmers as a contribution to earnings at the price level. Enabling high returns for the farmers, this initiative helped farmers earn 20% more than their existing practice.

Notwithstanding the procedural hiccups, this partnership instead provided an innovative mechanism to leverage credit limits of existing processors to support them in financing the aforesaid FPO to buy produce from farmers. This can even be beneficial to FPOs with modest working capital to value chain activities.

There are around 118 million farmers in India operating 145 million landholdings; out of which more than 85% are marginal and smallholdings. Farmers in India have little knowledge of which crop to grow to attain maximum economic benefit and often misled by middlemen. Empowering the farmers, this scheme facilitated the procurement of variety which has better market acceptability, which inturn has the potential to be an alternative for the much-discussed MSP purchase program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of building resilient farming communities. Through this multilateral-public-private partnership, farmers and FPOs are getting benefitted gravely as it helps in bridging the demand-supply gap, enabling farm level value addition, reducing food loss and waste and controlling price volatility.

This initiative is being undertaken in 12 blocks in Varanasi, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Gorakhpur, Deoria of Uttar Pradesh currently that will benefit approximately close to 4000 small and marginal farmers mostly women over 6 months.

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