Tata-Cornell Institute (TCI) for Agriculture and Nutrition launched a centre for Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to equip farmers in India to leverage the upcoming opportunities in the sector.The hub is located at the Institute’s Centre of Excellence in New Delhi for around 125 million farmers in India, with a unique database of the Indian FPOs.
The hub was established with the $1 million funding to TCI from the Walmart Foundation and it will act as a reservoir for all the information, learning as well as knowledge for the upliftment of FPOs in India.
TCI Director Prabhu Pingali said in a statement that the database available with TCI is the single source of data on the FPOs in India available presently. “Farmer Producer Organizations are crucial for both improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and increasing the supply of diverse, nutritious foods that are increasingly in demand across India,”said the Director.
Pingali, who is also a professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management added, “Through the FPO hub, TCI aims to provide a foundation of data-based knowledge on top of which strong, effective FPOs can be built and sustained.”
To ease the research on aggregation models for small farms, the TCI database is crucial and provides a cache for the information gathering on the FPOs in the domain.
The dashboard’s interface is interactive and easy for the researchers to access the data on crops produced or founding years.This will in return equip the researchers to build FPO-specific models to stimulate the income and welfare of small farmers.
Pingali pointed to the effectiveness of the hub, as it provides a pool of accumulated data on the FPOs, which is currently not widely accessible.“Bringing together data on the over 4,400 FPOs in India will facilitate research aimed at developing strong, effective FPO models,” he said.
The Walmart Foundation also made a statement on the initiative, stating that it will boost income and provide the essential infrastructure required for the necessary growth.“The Walmart Foundation is committed to helping improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers in India.
With the grant funding to the TCI, we are meaningfully advancing research into FPOs, which serve as a vital infrastructure for promoting market access and strengthening business and agricultural practices,” said the Vice President of philanthropy at Walmart Foundation, Julie Gehrki.
She added that with the expertise provided by TCI, the hub will also enable the collective engagement of numerous institutes that are optimistic about supporting small farmers and building resilient agri-value chains.