Assam: Mastercard, ACCESS launch MANDI prog to empower FPOs

Guwahati: To empower Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in Assam, Mastercard and ACCESS Development Services on Thursday announced here the launch of a new programme, Mainstreaming Agriculture through Networks and Development Initiatives (MANDI), which will help in their capacity building by professional trainers.

Collectivisation of farmers with small holdings through FPOs have proven to be a successful model but most lack resources, know-how and tools to operate effectively along with lack of financial services, awareness and knowledge to avail government schemes, Division President Mastercard, South Asia Gautam Agarwal said at the launch here.

Mastercard and ACCESS are aiming to help address these challenges by facilitating training frameworks, curriculum, and tools for FPOs, he said.

The programme will focus on accelerating growth and development among FPOs and enhancing financial literacy among farmers by training them in best agricultural practices, improving their access to market linkages and digital tools and generating awareness about financial services along with the available government schemes.

”This initiative advances the central government’s vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and reiterates Mastercard’s commitment to connect more people to the digital economy, including those who earn their livelihoods from agriculture”, Agarwal said.

The MANDI programme has been operational on a pilot basis in Assam for the last six months and has been able to onboard 83 FPOs so far and aims to benefit 50,000 farmers by the end of 2023.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Access Development Services Vipin Sharma said that the adoption of agritech solutions has played a vital role in streamlining the supply chains and addressing diverse challenges related to market linkages and access to financial services.

”There is a need to strengthen FPOs through technology to ensure increased connectivity and enhanced productivity. We are thrilled to collaborate with Mastercard and facilitate the tools, curriculum, and skills to ensure long-term sustainability for FPOs”, Sharma said.

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Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry with an aim to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits all by making transactions safe, simple, smart, and accessible. ACCESS is a national livelihoods support organization, with focus on incubating innovations for sustainable livelihoods of the poor.

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