Written d by Dinesh Balam / Shubham Sharma, WASSAN – OMM | December 17, 2020
Government of Odisha has initiated procurement of ragi since 2018 under Odisha Millets Mission initiative.
Ragi procurement was started in 8 districts in 2018 namely Gajapati, Malkangiri, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Rayagada and Sundergarh. This was later extended to 14 districts in 2019.
94895 quintals of ragi was procured in the Kharif Marketing Season (KMS) 2019-20. Procured ragi is being distributed through PDS and ICDS. Under ICDS, procured ragi is being used to prepare ragi ladoos in two districts namely Keonjhar and Sundergarh. 1.57 Lakh children are covered through the ragi ladoo initiative under ICDS in 2 districts of Odisha.
Farmer producer organisation (FPO) is the block level implementing organisation for OMM. 65 FPOs registered in 2 years and registration of 15 more FPOs is expected to be completed by end of 2021 under OMM.
With support of Mr Shirish Joshi, FPO strategy was developed for the OMM in 2019. Experiences of many organisations within Odisha and other expert agencies such as VRUTTI, IRRI and others helped in fine-tuning the strategy.
A Service Centric FPO model is being piloted under OMM. This model focused on production of local seeds, production of Bio inputs, setting up farm-gate post-harvest and primary processing units, custom hiring centers, etc through FPOs. In addition, FPOs were encouraged to provide services for work orders for MGNREGA, access to government schemes (including procurement) and insurance services to small and marginal farmers.
Government of Odisha has approved pilot procurement ragi through FPOs in 16 blocks in 7 districts.
FPOs shall undertake registration of the farmers, support the awareness generation on ragi procurement, facilitate the labor for loading and unloading and oversee the procurement process and generation of receipts in their respective blocks.
In Nuapada district, UN-FAO and MoA-NRAA are also supporting and studying the procurement of ragi through FPO in Komana block. Service centric FPO model of OMM is being explored as an institutional instrument for circular economy by UN-FAO and MoA-NRAA.
A detailed selection/screening process was undertaken for selection of FPOs in the selected pilot blocks. A district level committee with representatives from ATMA, WASSAN and TDCCOL was formed to oversee the process.
After verification of business transactions, physical verification of the available infrastructure and personal interaction with board of directors, 16 FPOs have been selected from 16 blocks.
Data entry operators were recruited by the FPOs for the farmer registration and other procurement activities. Data entry operators, FPO members and NGOs were trained in the operation of procurement software and other IT applications.
They were also trained on the accounting and other processes for undertaking the procurement activities. Training on Fair average quality (FAQ) standards for the procurement to FPOs is also under the process for all the FPO members.
Based on the experiences and learning, Government of Odisha is planning to scale up the procurement activities through FPOs in the 14 districts of Odisha.