Myfpo.com is a technology initiative of Wingify Foundation under its Project Samarth which, in turn is a baby step towards building a prototype for enhancing farmer’s income in remote hilly areas.
Early on, we have understood that farming for the market is a business. It is a business in which farmers use land, labor, and capital to produce crops to be sold in the hope and expectation of profit as are in all other businesses.
We also understood that in India where farmers have small holdings, collectivizing farmers into a Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) shall be the only way to overcome the production and marketing challenges the small and marginal farmers are facing. Myfpo.com is being designed and developed to provide identity to those individual FPOs that register on the portal.
A Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) is a legal entity formed by farmers, A FPO can be a producer company, a cooperative society or any other legal form which provides for sharing of benefits among the farmer members. All these entities can register and use myfpo.com.
Over the years, there has been a growing interest in promoting an enabling environment for the FPOs. Several initiatives have been taken by the Government, apex financial institutions such as NABARD, private donors, financial institutions and many other non-profit institutions like Wingify Foundation to support the growth of the FPOs and facilitate their emergence as successful business enterprises.
No doubt organizing farmers as FPOs is a laudable objective but FPOs are still in infancy stage. We picked many signals from the ground at the micro FPO level.
At the macro-level, there is a problem of imperfect information and asymmetric information between demand and supply in agricultural markets that impacts price dynamic which, at the base level hits both farmers and end consumers or in extreme cases result in gluts and scarcities.
Farming and information may appear to be poles apart – one perceived to be primitive and helpless activity, while, Information and Communication Technology being the one through which modern businesses gain competitive advantage, develop new business / revenue models and streamline business processes.
We thought that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) can be an effective tool to design a platform that helps alleviate some of the problems and challenges listed above. myfpo.com is a baby step towards meeting this objective to;
Empirical evidence from Mexico and Central America shows that when Farmer Producer Organizations are supported by and directly linked to supermarkets, they are more likely to remain economically sustainable as opposed to farmer producer organizations supported by non-governmental organizations This would be equally true for online marketplaces.
With supply side information available to demand side stakeholders much before the produce is available for harvest and through various crop stages, decision makers would be in a better position to plan their purchases, quantities, prices and logistics.