For harnessing exports potential of agricultural and processed food products of cooperatives as well Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) on 12 July 2021 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED).
According to the MoU, the key areas of cooperation include facilitating APEDA registered exporters getting assistance under all the Govt. of India schemes implemented through NAFED. The MoU also envisages ensuring sustainability and growth of exports by Cooperatives by addressing technology, skill, quality products, and market access.
The collaborations between APEDA, which functions under the Ministry of Commerce, and NAFED, registered under the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, also support engaging Cooperatives involved in agricultural production for improving the quality of agri-produce and its consolidation for better price realization to the farmers.
APEDA would facilitate exports by the Cooperatives, FPO’s, partners, and associates identified and promoted by NAFED. In addition, APEDA and NAFED will also encourage the participation of Farmers’ Cooperatives in global trade, including B2B & B2C fairs to be organized in India and abroad and to cooperate in international business development and promotions mutually.
The MoU also entails assisting with capacity building of Cooperative Societies, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for their social and environmental compliances, and skilling as per international standards. Both the organizations would organize awareness programs Skill Development Programme and Workshops at Regional, State, and National levels.
APEDA and NAFED have also agreed to work closely towards sustainable Cluster development of the clusters in various States notified under Agri Export policy.
The MoU was signed by Dr M Angamuthu, chairman APEDA, and Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, managing director, NAFED. The MoU was signed to utilize both the organizations’ expertise by mutually working together to synergize the activities in the interest of agriculture and allied sectors to bring better value to the stakeholders.
APEDA has been focusing on a collaborative approach to bring synergy with the number of organizations and institutions having inherent professional and specialized expertise in different areas for capacity building of various stakeholders and providing solutions for addressing some of the identified interventions for the development of Agriculture and its export enhancement in consonance with the objectives set under Agri Export Policy (AEP) announced by Government of India in 2018.
AEP was framed with a focus on agriculture export-oriented production, export promotion, better price realization to farmers, and synchronization within policies and programs of the Government of India. It focuses on the “Farmers’ Centric Approach” for improved income through value addition at the source itself to help minimize losses across the value chain.
The exports policy, therefore, suggests adopting the approach of developing product-specific clusters in different agro-climatic zones of the country to help in dealing with various supply-side issues viz., soil nutrients management, higher productivity, adoption of a market-oriented variety of crop, and use of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP).
APEDA has been engaged with State Governments for the implementation of AEP. The States of Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, MP, Mizoram and Meghalaya have finalized the State-specific Action Plan for exports while the action plans of other States are at different stages of finalization.
NAFED is also creating a network of honey FPOs across Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Around 65 FPOs will be part of the honey corridor linking northwest to north-eastern regions. NAFED aims to bring all the FPOs associated with honey production to create requisite infrastructure under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission; NAFED’s subsidiary Federation of Indian FPOs and Aggregators (FIFA) is currently partnering with FPOs and the private sector.
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