Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium | 13 Jun 2020

Why in News

Recently the Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare highlighted the role of Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) in increasing incomes of small and marginal farmers through aggregation and development of agribusiness.

Key Points

  • Established: SFAC was established in 1994 under Societies Registration Act, 1860 as an autonomous body promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare.
  • Objectives: Promoting agribusiness by encouraging institutional and private sector investments and linkages to ensure the empowerment of all farmers in the country.
    • Organising small and marginal farmers as Farmer Interest Groups, Farmer Producer Organisations and Farmer Producer Company for endowing them with bargaining power and economies of scale.
  • Few Important Schemes Implemented by SFAC: Equity Grant & Credit Guarantee Fund (EGCGF) Scheme , Venture Capital Assistance (VCA) Scheme, Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) Scheme, National Agriculture Market (NAM) Scheme, etc.
  • Recent Initiatives/Developments: SFAC launched the Kisan Rath app with the help of officials of the Ministry of Agriculture which lessened the problem of transport of farm produce during lockdown.
    • It signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to bring in better synergy in the agricultural activities.

Equity Grant & Credit Guarantee Fund (EGCGF) Scheme

  • The Equity Grant Fund has been set up with the primary objectives of :
    • Enhancing viability and sustainability, credit worthiness of Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs),
    • Enhancing the shareholding of members to increase their ownership and participation in their FPCs.
  • The Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme provides a Credit Guarantee Cover to the Eligible Lending Institution (ELI) to enable them to provide collateral free credit to FPCs.

Venture Capital Assistance

  • Venture Capital Assistance is financial support in the form of an interest free loan provided by SFAC to meet the shortfall in the capital requirement for implementation of the project.