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Agriculture Enterprise Facilitation Centre 151209
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Agriculture Enterprise Facilitation Centre 151209

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  • 1. Agriculture Enterprise Facilitation Centre (AEFC) Jitesh Panda* Pramel Gupta* Agriculture has importance from point of view of food security, poverty eradication and overall growth of economy. It contributes to production of food grains; and also generates income and employment. In the past, through systematic extension efforts, India could enhance production of food grains (rice and wheat), poultry products, fish and meat. The extension system was geared towards enhancing productivity through use of inputs like water, fertilizer, seeds and pesticides. Mechanization of agriculture has also contributed to efficiency of agriculture production system. However, the scenario is changing very fast. Globalization of agriculture value chains has led to emergence of new market opportunities and has also demanded competitiveness at different levels of value chains, including relating to production. Increasingly, agriculture is becoming more and more commercial. Consumer demand, supported by technology has also opened up opportunities for value addition linked enterprises like relating to cleaning, grading, storage, preservation and processing. Traditionally, agriculture refers to art, science and business of cultivation and related activities. However, in the context of enhancing production, the focus of agriculture has been largely on “science” aspect of agriculture. With increasing opportunities for enterprise activities linked to agriculture at different stages (from production to consumption), the agriculture extension system, requires to focus more on “Business” aspect of agriculture. More importantly, all farm production activities need to seen from perspective of an enterprise. There would be emphasis on economics of agriculture that may relate to turnover, costs and profit. Like any other Enterprises, Agriculture Enterprises would require more of Business Development Services (BDS) THAN traditional extension services for enhancing production. Such BDS could be provided through a block level Agriculture Enterprise Facilitation Centre (AEFC). AEFC can be promoted through a local Civil Society Organization (CSO) having orientation and experience to promote agriculture and/or enterprises. Different line departments of Government including Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Industries could support the AEFC. Typically, AEFC would make efforts to promote more and more agriculture enterprises, including farm production activities. AEFC would cater to BDS needs of agriculture Enterprises through a cadre of village based individual BDS providers. It would also develop linkage with other agriculture and/or enterprise promoting organizations and serve as a single window facility for agriculture Enterprises. Vrutti – A Livelihoods Resource Centre 19, 1st Main, 1st Cross, Ashwath Nagar, RMV 2nd Stage, Bangalore 560 094, India Email: pramel@cms-india.org jitesh@cms-india.org

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