Gujarat Regional Office has organised a 3-day Sahyog Mela from October 1 to 3, 2021 at Sabarmati River Front near Vallabh Sadan.
The mela is all set to provide a platform to rural artisans and entrepreneurs, Farmers’ Producers Organisations (FPO), SHGs to exhibit and sell their crafts and products.
The mela was inaugurated by the Agriculture Minister of Gujarat, Raghavji Patel.
He said, “Initiatives of NABARD aimed at bringing rural prosperity are highly appreciated and emphasised upon the role FPOs can play in realising the goals of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat mission.”
“There are around 4484 FPOs in India promoted so far, out of which Gujarat has 200 FPOs with more than 69,000 members. This program will help small and marginal farmers, village workers, weavers and vulnerable people who will get promotions for their job,” he added.
“Their work will be promoted and they will get a market for their farm products. They will also get fair value. Moreover, sellers and buyers will directly interact with each other. The middleman will be removed from the entire process, directly benefitting the buyers and sellers,” Raghavjibhai added.
The Sahyog Mela’s idea to cut the middlemen and help manufacturers reach consumers came to reality three years ago. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic – the mela was on hold. This year, they are back with the mela which is the first of its kind in Gujarat.
NABARD has over 200 FPOs all over Gujarat catering to more than 60,000 farmers. Other than FPOs, NABARD also provides training to artisans with the help of skill development corporates.
Chief General Manager of NABARD, D.K. Mishra said, “We are not a non-profit organization but the profit flow back is put into the development of rural areas.” Requesting the new Agriculture Minister, he said, “Other states give priority to FPOs when it comes to insecticides and pesticides but in Gujarat, FPOs are not given priority, I would ask you to look into it and bring a change in the policy.”
Shamsher Mann, Chief General Manager, SBI, Shri A.K. Jha, Chief General Manager, IDBI, Shri M.K. Bansal, SLBC convenor, DGM RBI, representatives from SIDBI, IDBI, GStCB, ADC Bank, were present at the inauguration ceremony besides participants.
More than 100 stalls have been set up in the mela which would provide a platform for Agri producers, artisans and SHGs from across 11 states to market their products.
As part of the mela, NABARD has organised a Buyer Seller Meet with the motto of linking producers to the market.
Handlooms from Rajasthan, UP, MP, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh are showcased. Additionally, renowned crafts like Madhubani painting, handicraft of Patan, Kutch-Bhujadi etc. are also being exhibited at the mela.
In addition to offering the rural artisans a prospect to showcase their creativity and creations, the mela would expose them to the city markets, help redesign and sell their products in conformity with the latest trends.