Bidyut P Gogoi, Y Sirilakshmi, Ashok K Sharma and Asha Rani
ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India
Indian agriculture is largely dominated by small and marginal farmers and they are almost 89.4 per cent (NSSO, 2019) of the total farmers population of the country. Smallholder farmers have to suffer market uncertainties as most policies and institutional supports favour large and progressive farmers and smaller farmers are devoid of them increasing the wider gap between producers and consumers. To make small holdings economically viable there is a growing concern to initiate collective farming with special emphasis on small and marginal land holdings. In such a situation, FPOs can play an important role in promoting and strengthening member-based institutions of farmers. The government of India has realized the indispensable role of collectivization of farmers into groups to leverage the economics of scale of production and marketing and thus launched the formation and promotion of 10000 new FPOs by 2027-28. Farmer Producer Companies (FPOs) are organizations established by collectivizing small and marginal farmers to perform agriculture in a business mode at all stages of agriculture-related supply and value chain activities. FPO allows small farmers to participate in the market more effectively and helps to enhance agricultural production, productivity, and profitability. Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) are emerging as a structure, that is indispensable in the development arena of agriculture and rural development programmes as it act as catalysts for agricultural development by organizing small and marginal farmers into collective entities, providing them with access to credit, technology, and market linkages. This paper aims to examine the potential role of FPOs in empowering the farming community, particularly in the context of the large prevalence of smallholder agriculture in India emphasizing on the challenges faced by the FPOs and the strategies to overcome them.