M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, which has been collectivising farmers of the Illuppur Agriculture Producer Company Limted (IAPCL) in Illuppur of Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu, has facilitated a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Tamil Nadu Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium and IAPCL to set up a seed processing unit (SPU) under the National Agriculture Development programme (NADP).
The proposed unit capacity of the SPU is a 1000 kg / hour processing capability and 500 MT storage godown. The total project cost is Rs. 60 lakhs and this will be provided as 100% subsidy to IAPCL. The SPU will act not only as the processing centre for all the seed growers in Pudukkottai district but also as a service centre for the state seed production system.
The memorandum of Agreement to set up the SPU was signed between TNSFAC and IAPCL on July 27, 2018 at Pudukkottai. The Deputy Director of the Department of Agribusiness represented the TNSFAC, while IAPCL’s Board of Directors and CEO represented the farmer producer company.
Construction work and establishment of processing machinery is likely to be completed by December 2018. The seed processing unit is expected to enhance the quality of seeds and increase and seed replacement ratio in pulses and paddy crops in the district.
MSSRF’s work in Illuppur is aimed at strengthening agricultural production through technological interventions, value addition and marketing of agricultural commodities to enable farmers to gain more value for their produce. In this regard, IAPCL set up a “patikaadu campus (village campus)” - a resource centre in 4.5 acres of land near Illuppur, to establish forward and backward integration systems to create a value chain for pulses, paddy, milk and country chicken. These efforts ensured that the farmer producer organisation aggregated Rs. 2.17 crore worth commodities from farmers and linked it to the fair market.