Tata-Cornell Institute launches hub to empower smallholder farmers

New Delhi [India], Sep 3 : In an effort to empower India’s 125 million smallholder farms to take advantage of growing opportunities in agricultural sector, Tata-Cornell Institute (TCI) for Agriculture and Nutrition has launched a hub for farmer producer organisations (FPOs) within its Centre of Excellence here.
The hub features a first-of-its-kind database of Indian FPOs. Created with one million dollar (about Rs 7.3 crore) grant funding from the Walmart Foundation, the hub will serve as a repository of learnings, information and knowledge for the advancement of FPOs. “Farmer producer organisations 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 TCI Director Prabhu Pingali.
“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,” he said.
Small farms are disadvantaged when it comes to accessing markets, credit and agricultural inputs such as seeds. By joining together in FPOs, farmers work to jointly reduce costs and improve market access, helping to drive higher agricultural productivity, enhanced food security, and livelihood development.
“Bringing together data on the over 4,400 FPOs in India will facilitate research aimed at developing strong, effective FPO models,” said Pingali.

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