Business Today

FARM TRUTHS

Even as the Central government was busy getting legislative clearances for three Bills meant to liberalise India's agricultural trade during the curtailed monsoon session of Parliament, a couple of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in Tamil Nadu were sitting pretty on the contracts bagged from bulk buyers. While Pasumai Groundnut Producer Company Ltd, Trichy, has an agreement for groundnut cultivation on 500 acres of land for export to Malaysia, Greeners Agro Products gets farmers to cultivate red bananas on 150 acres. The direct linkage between the farmer and the buyer, and the role of FPOs that stitch together such contracts, along with the freedom to trade any quantity of agricultural produce within the country and abroad — the key objective of the three farm Bills passed in Parliament — was already on display in the southern state.

“If you look at the Bills from the FPOs’ point of view, it is a boon. It allows large-scale aggregation and largescale trading without the restrictions of (existing markets). FPOs can go for higher volumes of aggregation and marketing. It sets

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