Agri Business Promotion Facility (ABPF)

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 Sub-Component under this Project.
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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 Sub-Component under this Project.

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. Two additional activities will be supported under ABPF viz.

  • A process for facilitating Maharashtra Agri. Business and Producers Organisation to access Government Of India (GoI) grants and
  • A process for the review, discussions and development of improved designs for wholesale markets and Rural Haats. ABPF will have a major role in facilitating greater state utilisation of GoI marketing grants.
ABPF is proposed on contract basis. It will function till the Project period is over. However, by the end of fourth year an independent cell will be established in MSAMB for similar functions as ABPF. This cell will get hand holding from fourth year as it will work in close guidance of ABPF consultancy under the project. At present MSAMB has got project and consultancy cell with some expertise. This will be strengthened by providing additional expertise so that this cell can function as ABPF after the project period. Besides Project cell in H.O.of MSAMB, it is proposed to have Project Advisers /Project Facilitators in Regional Offices of MSAMB. At the District level there would be panel of Agri-business/ Agri Marketing Advisers with ATMA or District Deputy Registrars of Co-operative Societies. The Regional level and District level experts will be drawn from private sector and their panel will be maintained at the Regional and District level respectively whose names and details will be published on the website so that the prospective users can contact them and avail their services. These experts will be trained by ABPF under the project during the 5th  and 6th  year of the project phase. The Project Advisers/ Project Facilitators at Regional level and Agri-business/ Agri-Marketing Advisers at the District level will provide services to prospective entrepreneurs, i.e. agric-graduates, agric- diploma holders, diploma and degree holders in management and all other entrepreneurs in various fields of agri-business and agric-marketing and will provide services like preparing project reports, proposals for banks, proposals for accessing GoM /GoI grants. The ABPF under the project is thus aimed to develop and arrangement to make the similar services available to agric-entrepreneurs even after the project period.

ABPF will hold annual and Zonal conferences of Agribusiness Advisers and a satisfaction survey will be carried out to know how the ABPF has benefited to their knowledge. Likewise satisfaction survey of the SP of APMCs, RH & FCSC will help to understand the benefits of ABPF to beneficiaries. The SPs of APMCs, RH and FCSCs will be invited for annual and zonal conferences organized by ABPF. This will function as a learning platform where results of any studies can be disseminated and market designers, architects, APMC personnel and SPs involved in supporting APMCs, RH and FCSCs would attend and share their experiences and learning’s. ABPF role is to provide services, and support to the project and its implementing agencies to improve performance. The regular satisfaction surveys will be carried out to know ABPF’s ability to deliver the information, training and advise needed by the project and its service providers. Users of APPF’s services need to be able to identify how the facility has impacted on the outcome of their work. These surveys will cover the relevant personal in PCU and MSAMB, the 33 Agribusiness Advisers in the ATMAs, service providers supporting FCSCs and market designs, attendees at dissemination conferences of ABPFs work and a sample of individuals who have downloaded ABPF generated information from the MACP website. The consultancy reports will be uploaded  on the website by ABPF and the downloading of the same by registered users will be monitored.


 
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