Shreya Anand, Souvik Ghosh and Anirban Mukherjee
Palli Siksha Bhavana (Institute of Agriculture), Visva-Bharati, Sriniketan, West Bengal
Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs) are claimed to be one of the most effective institutional mechanisms aimed at promoting agricultural growth and fostering rural development in developing countries, which are dominated by smallholders. The success of FPOs is significantly influenced by several socio-psychological aspects such as attitude of farmers towards FPOs, their information-seeking behaviour, and their level of progressiveness. These factors collectively play a crucial role in determining the sustainability and triumph of FPOs. Present study was conducted in randomly selected eight FPOs to representing both agricultural and horticultural produce, two representing each of the four categories based on the operational duration (less than 1-3 years, >3-5 years, and more than 5 years and non-functional FPOs at the time of study). A sample of 320 farmer members of the selected FPOs, 40 from each FPO, were chosen as the respondents for present study. The findings revealed that farmers in more established FPOs, with operational periods exceeding 5 years, demonstrated higher levels of progressiveness towards FPOs and a more favourable attitude towards their role in agricultural development. Moreover, these farmers exhibited greater interest in seeking fast and accurate information on farming-related matters. Conversely, farmers in FPOs with a shorter operational period and non-functional exhibited a comparatively lower degree of progressiveness and were found to be less inclined to actively engage in seeking information through FPO communication networks. The results of this study also indicate the significance of establishing and nurturing FPOs to ensure that farmers have access to the essential information required for making informed decisions. Policymakers, authorities, and FPO management can utilize these insights to design targeted interventions and supportive frameworks that foster a culture of progressiveness and participation within FPOs, ultimately bolstering the FPOs.