A.2 Agri Business Promotion Facility (ABPF)

I. Objectives

1. Agricultural production and its marketing are interrelated activities and MACP addresses these firstly by improving agricultural extension system (ATMA model), and secondly by providing upgraded  marketing  infrastructure  which  will  be  made  accessible  by traditional  as  well  as alternative marketing channels. Besides these interventions, the competitiveness of the farmer will be improved by capacity building. The sustainability of agriculture will improve because of all these interventions. Considering the scope of further improving sustainability of agriculture, value addition to agriculture produce is most important critical factor. Development of various business activities either supporting agriculture or based on agriculture production will add to the income of the farmers.  It is therefore proposed  to include the Agri-business  Promotion Facility (ABPF) as a subcomponent under this Project.

2.   The  manpower  involved   in  operations  and  management   of  infrastructure   created  under Component B of this Project including non officials in management and executive cadre and other personnel will have to be provided with technical and management skills for operations & management  of  the  facilities  created.  The  ABPF  will  have  the  main  role  to  train  these personnel.  Besides  this  number  of studies  would  be undertaken  by ABPF  which  will also include  three  studies  relating  to  development  of  dairy marketing,  development  of  fisheries marketing and agricultural insurance. The findings of these studies will be reviewed at the time of  first  Mid  Term  Review  (MTR)  and  assessment  will  be  done  whether  to  include  these activities under this project after for financial support. These studies will be contracted out. The staff of ABPF with the support of PCU will prepare ToRs for the work and take technical oversight role. The responsibility of contracting will be that of PCU.

3.    Two  additional  activities  will  be  supported  under  ABPF  viz.  i)  A process  for  facilitating Maharashtra Agri. Business and Producers Organisation to access GoI grants and ii) a process for the