Orientation workshop organized for FPOs of North East India in Guwahati
Guwahati: A total of 10 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) and 6 Cluster-Based Business Organisations (CBBOs) were convened on Saturday in Guwahati by the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation (NERAMAC), along with the Media Management Group for Literacy and Development (MMGLD) and Centre for Responsible Business (CRB), for a capacity building workshop. The objective of the event was to build an understanding of how to integrate Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators, to enhance engagement with market/industry stakeholders. This workshop served as a platform to disseminate insights from a collaborative program developed by NERAMAC, CRB, and MMGLD, aimed at localizing SDGs within specific agri-value chains in the northeast region.
In his opening address, Commodore Rajiv Ashok (Retd.), Managing Director of NERAMAC, expressed his happiness at the enthusiastic participation of the 10 FPOs in the event. He emphasized NERAMAC’s collaboration with MMGLD and CRB, specifically focusing on Sustainable Development—a continuation of NERAMAC’s efforts to enhance value and introduce innovative projects for FPOs in the region.
Atul Dev Sarmah, Secretary-General of MMGLD, underscored the need to seize the abundant opportunities in the North-Eastern Region while dealing with its inherent challenges. He highlighted the significance of improved logistics, communication, and connectivity, emphasizing how concerted efforts by FPOs could facilitate their integration into national agri-value chains.
Rijit Sengupta, Chief Executive Officer of CRB, emphasized the importance of integrating sustainability principles into FPOs. He envisioned this integration as a transformative process, propelling FPOs from the region to the status of ‘champion FPOs’. Such a transformation, he noted, would enhance their visibility among market players, particularly companies committed to sustainable agri-value chains.
The workshop aimed at improving the awareness and capacity of FPOs regarding the benefits of integrating SDGs to improve performance and market visibility. Introducing a methodology for integrating and localizing SDGs to achieve sustainable and inclusive agri-value chains and facilitating improved visibility and market-linkage opportunities for FPOs, particularly with regard to value-added products.
During the workshop, participants were introduced to a ‘Framework for FPO-Industry Partnership on SDGs’. Following this introduction, a group exercise was conducted to facilitate their understanding and application of this framework within their respective FPOs. The exercise involved connecting the framework with specific hypothetical ‘pilots’ relevant to their FPOs.
The participants comprised 4 FPOs from Assam and 2 FPOs each from Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. Additionally, the 6 CBBOs in attendance were those collaborating with these FPOs. The participants expressed satisfaction that the approach adopted by the three organizations resonated with the needs and aspirations of the FPOs.