SHILLONG, Nov 26: As a part of the sixth phase of its awareness camp, Small Farmer Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) conducted camps at Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The Scheme offers Venture Capital to set up agri-business projects and Project Development Facility (PDF) to assist producer, producer groups/organization, and units in Agri-Export Zones and agriculture graduates in preparation of economically viable Detailed Project Report (DPR).
These camps were conducted in 4 districts of Meghalaya, namely, East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, West Garo Hills and East Garo Hills. The camps are being attended by Department of Agriculture, Department of Horticulture, NGOs & SHG, Entrepreneurs, Department of Fisheries, Dept. of Forest, LDM Including Bankers, NABARD, Krishi Upaj Mandi Samiti, Finance Corporations, SFAC, AFC, and others.
The scheme envisages single window approach while associating with banks financing the projects, to extend venture capital, with term loan and working capital, to agribusiness applicants. The project should be in agriculture or allied sectors only like horticulture, floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants, minor forest produce (MFP), apiculture, and fisheries, and other similar fields. The projects in dairy and poultry sectors have been excluded.
The project should be able to provide assured market to farmer/ producer groups’, catering the needs of supplier. It should create potential for diversification of high value crop, resulting in higher incomes both at the level of supplier and procurer, which in this case could be an agri-business unit. Project should be viable in nature and should be accepted by bank for grant of term loan.
According to the Managing Director, SFAC, Pravesh Sharma, “The aim is to facilitate setting up of agri-business ventures in close association with banks. To catalyze private investments in setting up of agri-business projects and, thereby providing assured market to producers for increasing rural income & employment.”
The project seeking VCA from SFAC must be credit linked and currently the financing institutions like the Nationalized Banks, SBI and its subsidiaries and other commercial banks are eligible to recommend for VCA under the Scheme.
Thrust is given to strengthen backward linkages of agri-business projects with producers in order to assist farmers, producer groups and agriculture graduates to enhance their participation in value chain through Project Development Facility (PDF).