Capacity strengthening and cross learning efforts from MSSRF
Cross-learning visits are important knowledge-sharing opportunities for Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), wherein the nascent FPOs learn from the experiences of matured FPOs. The Board of Directors and FPO members of Innuyir FPO, Puducherry, visited the Veerapandi women farmer producer organisation in Salem – a successful FPO recognised by NABARD-Chennai on earlier in December. The key learnings from the visit comprised of ways to diversify the FPO activities/services, strategies to strengthen the members’ contribution towards business, and mechanisms to nurture the governance of the FPO as they grow. During the interaction, the key challenges faced by them in the business interventions and how they addressed the issues. This visit helped IGSFPO leaders gain confidence and inspiration from the Veerapandi women FPO leaders and members, apart from the hands-on experiences of the women farmers.
In another event on December 9, the Embalam Village Knowledge Centre (VKC) conducted capacity-building programmes to develop a cadre of women and men farmers as ‘digital tool facilitators’. This was done in the backdrop of increasing use of e-services by several stakeholders to disseminate agro-technologies. The main purpose was to build capacity so that access to farmer-centric agro-advisories will be easier through strengthened digital skills. The important tools and apps are Plantix for plant health information, Whatsapp for social networking with farmers at the horizontal level. For experts and other service providers at the vertical levels, Zoom/Google Meet platforms to connect with them and join the discussions.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.