Assam, India: Mastercard and ACCESS Development Services on Thursday announced the start of a new programme, Mainstreaming Agriculture via Networks and Development Initiatives (MANDI), which will aid in the capacity building of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in Assam.
Organising small-scale farmers into cooperatives (FPOs) has proven to be a successful model, but most farmers lack the tools, knowledge, and resources necessary to operate efficiently. They also lack access to financial services and are unaware of available government programmes, according to Gautam Agarwal, division president of Mastercard South Asia.
According to him, Mastercard and ACCESS are working to help FPOs by providing training frameworks, curricula, and resources.
By instructing farmers in best agricultural practises, enhancing their access to market connections and technological tools, and raising awareness of financial services along with the available government programmes, the programme will concentrate on accelerating growth and development among FPOs and improving financial literacy among farmers.
Agarwal stated, “This programme enhances Atmanirbhar Bharat, the national government’s agenda, and reaffirms Mastercard’s commitment to bringing more people online, especially those who depend on agriculture for a living.”
Since it began operating in Assam on a trial basis six months ago, the MANDI programme has been able to sign up 83 FPOs and has a goal of helping 50,000 farmers by the end of 2023.
The use of agritech solutions, according to Vipin Sharma, CEO of Access Development Services, has been crucial in streamlining supply chains and addressing a variety of issues connected to market linkages and access to financial services.
“To ensure improved productivity and better connectedness, FPOs must be strengthened through technology. We are happy to work with Mastercard and provide the resources, instruction, and expertise necessary to ensure FPO viability over the long run,” Sharma added.
With the goal of enabling transactions that are secure, straightforward, intelligent, and accessible, Mastercard is a leading worldwide technology business in the payments sector. ACCESS is a national organisation that supports the livelihoods of the disadvantaged, with an emphasis on fostering ideas for their sustainable livelihoods.