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PIB Summary for UPSC

2-March -2024

1. INDIA - MALAYSIA BILATERAL MARITIME EXERCISE SAMUDRA LAKSAMANA

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral relations
Exercise Samudra Laksamana enhances maritime cooperation between India and Malaysia, crucial for strategic partnerships; relevant for UPSC aspirants.
Context
  • Exercise Samudra Laksamana, from 28 Feb – 02 Mar 24, sees Indian Naval Ship Kiltan and Royal Malaysian Ship KD Lekir engaging in harbor interactions and joint sea operations to enhance cooperation and interoperability.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Exercise Samudra Laksamana is currently underway from 28th February to 2nd March 2024, both at and off the coast of Visakhapatnam.
  • The 3rd edition of this exercise involves the participation of Indian Naval Ship Kiltan and Royal Malaysian Ship KD Lekir.
  • The event encompasses harbor professional interactions featuring Subject Matter Expert Exchanges, sports fixtures, and various other engagements between the crews of the participating ships.
  • These interactions are designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, share best practices, and foster cooperation on maritime matters.
  • The sea phase of the exercise involves joint operations to enhance skills and strengthen bonds, ultimately aiming to improve interoperability between the Indian and Royal Malaysian Navy.

2. Around 5,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) registered on ONDC platform

Topic: GS3 – Agriculture – Storage, transport and marketing of agricultural produce
The news highlights the progress of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in India, crucial for UPSC aspirants as it addresses agricultural reforms, economic development, and government schemes fostering farmers’ welfare.
Context
  • Over 8,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) registered against a target of 10,000, with 5,000 on the ONDC portal, boosting online selling and improving market access for Indian farmers.
 Additional information on this news:
  • Over 8,000 out of the targeted 10,000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) have been registered, with 5,000 on the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) portal.
  • The initiative aligns with the Central government’s goal of improving market access for growers, enabling FPOs to sell produce online nationwide.
  • Launched in 2020 with a budget of Rs 6,865 crore, the Central Sector Scheme supports FPOs, aggregating small farmers to enhance economic strength and market linkages.
  • FPOs receive financial assistance of up to Rs 18.00 lakh per FPO for 3 years, matching equity grants, and credit guarantee facilities.
  • Credit Guarantee has been issued to 1,101 FPOs, covering more than 10.2 lakh farmers with a guaranteed coverage of Rs 246.0 crore.
  • The scheme aims to convert agriculture into self-reliant farming, boosting production, productivity, and rural economy, creating job opportunities.
  • FPOs focus on produce clusters for economies of scale and improved market access, supporting the “One District One Product” cluster for specialization, processing, marketing, branding, and export.
  • Objectives include forming 10,000 FPOs, enhancing productivity, providing handholding support, and building capacity for economic viability and self-sustainability beyond government support.
Role of FPOs in Agriculture Development
  • Collective bargaining power: FPOs enable small farmers to act together, gaining better prices for inputs and selling their produce collectively, increasing their bargaining power in the market.
  • Access to resources: FPOs facilitate access to essential resources like quality seeds, fertilizers, and credit facilities at competitive rates, which individual farmers might struggle to obtain.
  • Improved farming practices: FPOs offer training and extension services on modern farming techniques, leading to increased productivity and sustainability.
  • Market access and diversification: FPOs help connect farmers to wider markets, reducing dependence on middlemen and increasing profit margins. They can also explore value addition through processing and marketing of value-added products.
  • Empowerment and community development: FPOs foster collective action and build stronger rural communities, promoting economic empowerment and social upliftment for farmers.
By addressing these crucial aspects, FPOs play a significant role in enhancing agricultural development and improving the lives of farmers, particularly small and marginal ones.
PYQ: What are the methods used by the Farmers organizations to influence the policy- makers in India and how effective are these methods? (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2019)
Practice Question:  Critically examine the role of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in empowering small farmers and enhancing agricultural development in India. (250 words/15 m)

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