Sangappa, Meghana, D. Rafi., Charishma E.
ICAR-Indian Institute of Millets Research, Hyderabad,
Millets are small-grained nutri cereals that are rich in nutrients and well-suited for cultivation in climate-resilient, semi-arid tropics with low rainfall. Millets play a vital role in ensuring food and nutritional security for farmers and to rural communities. However, millet farmers often face challenges in obtaining fair prices due to the presence of numerous intermediaries in the traditional supply chain. Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) play a crucial role in supporting farmers and enhancing their effectiveness. FPOs aggregate farmers together, strengthen their bargaining power, maximize work efficiency, and empower farmers to become entrepreneurs. ICAR-IIMR is promoting 40 FPOs from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh and developed business models for FPOs by providing subsides on seeds, fertilizers, and machinery to reduce the cost of millet cultivation, credit facilities to invest in millet production and value addition, market access through favorable trade policies and infrastructure development, providing storage and processing facilities to reduce post-harvest losses, providing capacity building on various aspects of FPO management, such as governance, financial management, and marketing . They also provide financial assistance to FPOs to set up infrastructure and undertake value-added activities, linking FPOs with other stakeholders in the millet value chain, such as input suppliers, research organizations, government agencies, and advocating for policies and programs that support the development of FPOs. ICAR-IIMR supports FPOs by supplying them with high-quality seeds of improved millet varieties. This helps FPOs to increase their production and productivity and to produce high-quality millet grains that are in high demand in the market.