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Stakeholder Workshop Meeting Held to Review Progress of Phase-III of MOVCDNER

The state representatives actively participated in the workshop, presenting the progress, success stories, and operational challenges encountered under the MOVCDNER scheme.

Shivam Dwivedi
Stakeholder Workshop Meeting Held to Review Progress of Phase-III of MOVCDNER (Photo Source: Pexels)
Stakeholder Workshop Meeting Held to Review Progress of Phase-III of MOVCDNER (Photo Source: Pexels)

A two-day Stakeholder Workshop Meeting concluded today, focusing on the review of Phase-III progress of the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER). This Centrally Sponsored Scheme aims to establish end-to-end organic value chains in the North Eastern States.

The meeting, held on July 13th and 14th, 2023, assessed the progress made under the scheme and discussed strategies to liquidate the committed liability of Phase III, as well as the roadmap for implementing Phase IV starting in 2023-24. State representatives were also requested to propose activities and plans that could be undertaken with the available funds under the MOVCDNER Scheme.

Chaired by Rakesh Ranjan, Additional Secretary (INM) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the meeting on July 14th, 2023, was attended by Dr. Yogita Rana, Joint Secretary (INM), and Angshuman Dey, Joint Secretary (MDONER). Participants included representatives from the eight North Eastern States (Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Tripura), NEDFi, and officers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the Ministry of Rural Development. The workshop began with a presentation on the recommendations put forward by the states on the first day, aiming to scale up the scheme and establish a robust implementation system.

During the meeting, Rakesh Ranjan, Additional Secretary (INM), stressed the importance of service providers in facilitating market linkages and creating brand value for organic products. He also highlighted the government's focus on the North Eastern region and urged the eight states to ensure the complete utilization of funds earmarked for them, with a particular emphasis on exporting organic products to maximize benefits for the region's farmers.

Since its launch in 2015-16, the MOVCDNER scheme has played a crucial role in expanding organic farming in the North Eastern region. The scheme has helped bring approximately 1.73 lakh hectares of land under organic farming, benefiting 1.89 lakh farmers. Furthermore, it has led to the formation of 379 Farmer Producer Organizations/Farmer Producer Companies, along with the creation of 205 Collection, Aggregation, and Grading units, 190 Custom Hiring Centers, 123 Processing units, and Pack houses. Additionally, seven brands have been developed under the scheme.

During the workshop, NEDFi presented a brief overview of marketing and entrepreneurial support. Officials from various schemes of the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the Ministry of Rural Development also made presentations to explore opportunities for convergence in the North Eastern region. The following points of convergence were highlighted during the discussions:

  1. Per Drop More Crop:  Yogesh Roundal, Assistant Director (RFS), emphasized the promotion of micro-irrigation among farmers through the Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). He suggested leveraging the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for micro-irrigation projects by developing crop-specific estimates.

  2. National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM):  Raman Wadhwa, Deputy Director (NRLM), proposed the development of two Farmer Producer Companies through convergence with NRLM at the state level. This convergence would involve defining the roles and responsibilities of State Rural Livelihood Missions as implementing agencies and Cluster Level Federations as Community-Based Business Organizations.

  3. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF):  K.R. Meena, Director (AIF), recommended conducting a workshop in Guwahati to identify challenges specific to each Farmer Producer Organization and engage banks to facilitate credit.

  4. MGNREGA: Smt. Himanshi, Assistant Director (MGNREGA), suggested exploring support for fencing and land development through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

  5. Sub-Mission for Agriculture Mechanization (SMAM):  Arvind Meshram, Deputy Commissioner (SMAM), proposed conducting a study by the Biswanath School of Agriculture to identify suitable machines for the North Eastern region. The states were requested to provide information on the machine requirements of the Farmer Producer Organizations, and awareness would be generated among them through circulating videos and modules.

  6. Integrated Scheme of Agriculture Marketing (ISAM): Kapil Bendre, Director (ISAM), recommended conducting training programs for Farmer Producer Organizations and onboarding them on the e-NAM portal. The focus would be on helping them access a combination of Agriculture Marketing Infrastructure and Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Schemes.

  7. Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA): Dr. Y.R. Meena, Additional Commissioner (Extension), emphasized engaging ATMA functionaries and experts to ensure training and awareness programs for farmers.

The session concluded with closing remarks from Dr. Yogita Rana, Joint Secretary (INM), who shared her broader vision for the scheme and encouraged the states to achieve convergence by leveraging the MOVCDNER scheme as a conduit for development and growth in the North Eastern region.

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