Small Farmers Agri- Business Consortium, Kerala
SFAC Kerala, Kerala SFAC, Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium, Kerala SFAC Kerala, Kerala SFAC, Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium, Kerala
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Small Farmers Agri-business
Consortitum, Kerala
( Department of Agriculture, Govt of Kerala )
SFAC Kerala, Kerala SFAC, Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium, Kerala

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Memorandum of Association
Organisational Structure
Vision Document
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The following programmes are suggested to be undertaken in the coming days so as to enlarge the sphere of activity of SFAC, Kerala.
1. Panchayath Level Agribusiness Promotion Programme

Kerala's Agriculture offers scope for a variety of agribusiness opportunities. Therefore it is proposed to promote agro-industrialisation of Kerala by establishing Agribusiness Villages. In the initial phase it is proposed to start one Agribusiness Village in one district. In the selected Agribusiness Village, all the facilities required for the selected agribusiness will be provided which will include both the forward and backward linkages. SFAC will provide the project formulation assistance, organise training programmes for the beneficiaries, facilitate organising the beneficiaries into Producers Societies/ Self Help Groups / Other groups depending upon the project selected, facilitate marketing tie ups and other infrastructural facilities. The SFAC will help these organizations by providing revolving fund and networking with banks for credit support.

There are enormous agribusiness possibilities in the following areas.

•  Production of value added products based on coconut, pepper,

cashew, Cocoa, fruits & vegetables etc.

•  Natural fibre based enterprises – coir fibre, banana fibre, screwpine,

sisal, palm fibre.

•  Cut flower enterprises – Orchids & Anthuriums etc.

•  Medicinal plants cultivation – processing & marketing

•  Production of a range of organic products viz-organic rice, organic

spices, organic coffee, organic tea etc.

•  Agricultural input industry – Agricultural nurseries, production of bio

fertilizers, different types of composts, bio pesticides etc

•  Food processing units

SFAC will provide a maximum financial assistance for the establishment of agri-business projects to the tune of 33 1/3 % of the project cost. Operational Guidelines of the programme will be issued separately.

2. Establishing of Business Incubator / Common Facility Centres
A Business Incubator is a support service provided to the entrepreneur in the infancy stage of the enterprise so that she / he gains confidence to set up his/her own unit. The Business Incubator provides the requisite services for a new entrepreneur in an integrated and comprehensive manner. The business incubator will facilitate the prospective entrepreneurs with infrastructural facilities, technical inputs, managerial inputs, training etc so that the entrepreneurs could use this facility to begin their business in a small way. The entrepreneur will be enabled to successfully incubate out and later grow on their own. A business incubator if made available in a strategic location will enhance the technical capability of the man power in that region and therein enable them in setting up their own processing units. Similarly “common facility centres” is a related concept which provides access to SHGs and other organisations the common facilities like bottling facility, food-processing facility etc at nominal cost. SFAC proposes to establish business incubators and common facility centres in Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam & Kozhikode districts initially in collaboration with suitable agencies like KVKs / NGOs etc.
3. Establishment of a full-fledged Project Consultancy Centre

The agricultural Consultancy sector has a very crucial role in promoting agri-entrepreneurship. The agricultural Consultancy sector, both private and public is very weak in Kerala. In the Industries Sector, organisations like KITCO (Kerala Industrial Technical Consultancy Organisation) DIC etc. are offering consultancy and project preparation assistance. There is no such organisation in the agricultural sector. SFAC proposes fill this gap. Aspiring entrepreneurs will be provided assistance in formulation of appropriate technically feasible, economically viable and ecologically sustainable projects charging a reasonable fee. SFAC will utilise the services of empanelled consultants in diverse fields of agriculture. A scheme has already been placed as an Agenda Item in the current meeting of the Governing Body.

4. Development of training centre

SFAC has enormous experience in organising different kinds of training programmes for farmers and entrepreneurs. In the past SFAC has organised training programmes on fruit production technology, vegetable production technology, medicinal plants cultivation, banana fibre extraction, product design training for screwpine weavers, production of value added and processed products of fruits, vegetables, cocoa, spices etc. and others.

SFAC will be equipped to handle effective training programmes for farmers and entrepreneurs with proper follow up. A full fledged training centre for carrying out training programmes with all facilities like LCD projector, Portable overhead projector, training software's etc. will be developed. The services of the empanelled consultants and other experts will be utilised as faculties for the training programmes.
5. Gender Cell
The functioning of Gender Cell of SFAC will be made effective by catering to the requirements of prospective women entrepreneurs. The gender cell will collect and compile literature and database pertaining to women in Agriculture and also offer technical and entrepreneurial guidance to women who seek such assistance from SFAC. Specific programmes for women entrepreneurs will be formulated and implemented availing assistance from agencies like STEP and other external funding agencies.
6. SFAC to be a repository of information on agricultural sector

SFAC will collect and compile information on various aspects of agricultural sector required by entrepreneurs and farmers. Details of information collected and compiled include agricultural statistics pertaining to various crops, cultivation practices and technology of potential crops including new generation crops, agricultural input prices and availability, details of schemes and programmes of all Govt. departments and agencies pertaining to agricultural sector and other relevant particulars of interest to farmers and entrepreneurs in agriculture sector. SFAC proposes to publish an “Agripreneur Handbook” using the compiled information.

7. Consortium of Innovative Farmers

The constitution of a “Consortium of Innovative Farmers” was one of the suggestions for Kerala's agricultural transformation, given by the Commission on WTO concerns in Agriculture chaired by Dr.

M.S. Swaminathan. SFAC has been entrusted as the agency for the formation of the proposed Consortium.
Objectives of Consortium

8. Promotion of Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture is an agricultural system that promotes environmentally, socially and economically sustainable sound production of food and agricultural produces leading to Integrated Sustainable Development. In addition to improving food quality and environment, the potential for organic agriculture to reduce production costs, to stabilize yields and to increase farmers' income, is considered as high under Indian scenario other than the WTO stipulation on export of agricultural products. Kerala with rich endowments for cultivation of a wide variety of agricultural and horticultural crops specifically spices, plantation crops, medicinal plants etc with potential international markets, is an ideal destination for promotion of organic farming due to the changing preferences world wide towards organic and eco-friendly products.

SFAC propose to assist farmers and entrepreneurs in switch over to organic farming, extend assistance for getting organic certification, assist procurement of equipments and machinery required for grading, packing, labelling etc for organic products and also provide assistance to entrepreneurs to produce organic inputs like bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and bio-dynamic input production units.

9. Promotion of Bio-fuel cropping / Energy cropping

Due to the threat of fast depletion of traditional fuel resources the importance of Bio-fuels like Bio-diesel, Ethanol etc are gaining importance. SFAC will be developed as a nodal agency for promotion of cultivation of Bio-diesel crops (Jatropha oil from Jatropha, Rubber seed oil from Rubber, etc) and for establishment of units for extraction of Bio-diesel oil and for enterprises for energy production from other potential crops.