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Lockdown hits 67% of FPO businesses: NIAM

The pan-Indian lockdown imposed to arrest the spiraling Covid-19 cases, has hit the business operations of 67% of the 92 farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) in the country, as per a National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NIAM) survey.

It also said that about 49% of these FPOs spread across 48 districts of the country reported a shortage of finance. Further, 11 out of 18 FPOs dealing in vegetable produce reported losses with a 35% drop of sales as compared to last year. The study attributed this to reduced market demand, shortage of finance and logistics breakdown.

The survey also pointed out that some of these organizations played an active role in disseminating information about covid-19 through digital communication, pamphlet distribution and street plays and explaining the need for social distancing. In fact, some of them even indulged in activities like the distribution of masks, cash advance to members and distributed food and groceries to vulnerable communities within their areas.

“The next few months will be rife with uncertainty. With the extension of the lockdown and more dynamic decision making based on emerging situations with respect to spreading of COVID-19, the government policy will attempt to balance health and livelihoods, FPOs and other community institutions can be a key partner in the response,” the survey observed.