Every journey starts with a single step, and Punjab hasn’t been able to take even the first step. This is in context with the development of Farmer Producer Companies in different states of India.
A recent study named Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) in India: An Overview by T. S. Senthil Nathan and N. Venkatesa Palanichamy published in the Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology indicates that Punjab stands at the lower end of this ladder of FPCs.
The Northern Zone—comprising Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, New Delhi, Punjab, and Rajasthan—has only 664 FPCs out of which Punjab has 101 FPCs. Whereas Sikkim is standing at the top of all the states to have maximum FPCs in the country. The number of farmers mobilized through FPCs by NABARD was highest in Sikkim with 122643 farmer members, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh with 109113 and 80616 farmer members respectively in each state.
The study says that the Farmer Producer Companies (FPCs) have emerged as a solution to the problems that small and marginal farmers confront. This study probed into the reasons for the farmer-producer companies’ establishment, as stated in different policy documents and past literature. The performance of Farmers Producer Companies has improved significantly; however, the emergence of FPCs in India has not been consistent across the states. This paper examines the current status, geographical spread, and functions of Farmer’s Producer Companies (FPCs) across India, as well as suggests suitable measures to their performance.
The study indicated that a total of 6471 FPCs were formed, in which around 80 percent i.e. 5145 FPCs were promoted by Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), 1263 FPCs were promoted by the various state government and other agencies, and 63 of them were self-promoted.
More than 50 percent of the FPCs are set up in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Karnataka, Odisha, and Telangana. SFAC promoted a large number of FPCs in Madhya Pradesh (149 FPCs) and NABARD has promoted a large number of FPCs in Uttarakhand (362). The number of farmers mobilized through FPCs by SFAC and NABARD was highest in the state of Madhya Pradesh with 183517 farmer members, followed by Karnataka with 176732 farmer members.
Several factors influenced state performance, and this study also has suggested some strategies to overcome them to promote the growth of FPCs in India.