ADB is preparing an innovative Maharashtra Agribusiness Network (MAGNET) project. MAGNET will increase the incomes of small and marginal farmers in India’s Maharashtra State in line with the state government’s Vision 2030 by providing holistic agribusiness and value chain support in horticulture. It will enhance (i) the capacities of agribusiness institutions and farmer producer organizations, (ii) access to finance of farmer producer organizations and value chain operators, and (iii) horticulture value chain infrastructure. The infrastructure will use designs that are responsive to gender and people with disabilities, and include climate adaptation and mitigation financing.

Transcript

Voice Over:

Agriculture is the main source of livelihoods in the rural areas of India

In Maharashtra, more than half of the population is dependent and engaged in agriculture

The state produces 12% of India’s total fruit production and 7% of the country’s total vegetable production.

Despite these outputs, farmers are unable to benefit fully from horticulture as they lack access to adequate post-harvest facilities, finance and equipment.

Women form a large part of agricultural labour force and play a significant role in production and post-harvest processing.

Yet, they face several challenges. Sadly, they lack empowerment, representation, participation, land ownership, employment opportunities, productivity and training.

To help farmers including women overcome these challenges, the Asian Development Bank and Maharashtra’s Department of Cooperation Marketing and Textiles is initiating the Maharashtra Agribusiness Network project to support the development of the horticulture sector.

Anoop Kumar, Principal Secretary Marketing, Government of Maharashtra:

Maharashtra Agribusiness Network project, we call it MAGNET which is going to be implemented with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank, Manila by the Department of Agriculture Marketing and Cooperation, Government of Maharashtra; is a project which is totally aligned with Government of Maharashtra’s long-term vision called Vision 2030. Under this Vision 2030, Maharashtra wishes to enhance the farm income, double it and also achieve an agriculture growth rate up to 5% per annum.

Under this vision, we wish to improve the quality and yield of horticulture and floriculture crops. We wish to create quality infrastructure for storage and processing, want to extend agricultural credit to all the farmers, especially horticulture farmers.

Voice over:

The project aims to improve farmers’ income, increase productivity and reduce losses in horticulture production. Farmers especially women will be trained on handling crops after harvest, selling their produce, and new agricultural practices and technologies. Farmer organizations and value chain operators such as wholesalers and retailers will have access to grants and loans to develop post-harvest facilities and raise capital to improve their market activities. The project will upgrade existing post-harvest facilities and establish new ones to maintain the quality and freshness of the crops.

Deepak Shinde, General Manager MSAMB and Project Director MAGNET:

Output 1 of the project focusses on capacity building of farmer producer organizations. Output 2 of the project focusses on enhancing access to finance. This would be achieved by providing matching grant and financial intermediation loan. Output 3 of the project focuses on improvement and development of 16 existing facilities of Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board and also development of 3 new facilities.

Voice over:

The project will work as a value chain accelerator to offer crop based support to develop FPOs and market their products with higher brand values.

Masahiro Nishimura, Senior Rural Development Specialist, South Asia Department, ADB:

MAGNET project directly targets 200 farmer producer organizations and 100 value chain operators to enhance their capacities and provide access to finance. The project will create 10,000 jobs benefitting women and vulnerable groups and increase farmer producer organizations’ annual profit by 10%. ADB will demonstrate value addition in exemplary rural and agricultural transformation in Maharashtra and MAGNET is an integral part of ADB’s holistic projects addressing rural and intercity connectivity, efficient energy supply and sustainable shoreline management.

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