A first-of-its-kind organic spices seed park will come up at two places in Gujarat with an aim to encourage capacity building and adoption of best practices in the production cumin and fennel seeds, the main crops in the region.
The Gujarat Chief Minister on Monday released the sanction letters to two farmer producer organisations (FPOs) for a NABARD-supported Organic Spices Seed Park for saunf (fennel seed) in the Banaskantha district and jeera (cumin seed) in Patan for promotion of organic seed value chain of the spices.
Speaking about the development, GR Chintala, Chairman, NABARD, informed that the two spices seeds parks will create a complete value chain and provide capacity building training for the farmers.
A total of ₹23 lakh in grant assistance has been accorded to both the parks, which will have 50 farmers each. Once ready, the specialised institutions will the collect seeds, which will be sent for testing on quality control.
DK Mishra, Chief General Manager, NABARD, said that the seeds production is followed by grading, sorting and packaging before being sent to the markets.
“The effort is to enable FPO’s member farmers get these organic seeds for their production. This park will act as a platform for captive use,” said Mishra.
NABARD has also requested the Chief Minister to expand this model to and replicate it in other districts. These FPOs will oversee the functioning of the park.
The country has total 8000 FPOs, with average about 300-400 farmers as members of each FPO. In order to push value-addition, NABARD is also working on a concept of ‘value-chain finance’. “Every level of the FPO chain has to be financed. We are working on the nuances of the concept,” said Chintala.
Due to collectivisation of farmers under an FPO, they are able to take collective advantage of input procurement, credits, marketing and value-addition despite having a average per capita land holding of less than 1 ha.
For the on-going tax issue on the MAT, which is levied on the FPOs, Chintala said that a representation has been made to the Union Finance Ministry. “We can’t say right now anything about it. So far nothing has happened.”