Why in news?
A Dispute Settlement Panel of WTO in its report issued to members on 31 October 2019 has ruled India’s export promotion schemes (e.g. Merchandise Exports from India Scheme, Export Oriented Units Scheme, Special Economic Zone Scheme, Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme and Duty Free Imports for Exporters Scheme etc) to be export contingent and in the nature of prohibited subsidies under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and thus inconsistent with WTO norms.
Though US has claimed that India is providing subsidies on above mentioned schemes, India has taken the stand in dispute that the subsidies are not export contingent and thus consistent with WTO norms. India has filed appeal against the Panel ruling.
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC)
Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is an Autonomous Society promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare, Government of India. It was registered under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 on 18th January, 1994
- The Society is governed by a Board of Management which is chaired, ex-officio, by Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare as the President and the Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, is the ex-officio Vice-President.
- Society is a pioneer in organising small and marginal farmers as Farmers Interest Groups, Farmers Producers Organisation and Farmers Producers Company for endowing them with bargaining power and economies of scale.
- It provides a platform for increased accessibility and cheaper availability of agricultural inputs to small and marginal farmers and in establishing forward and backward linkages in supply chain management.
- This initiative has triggered mobilization of farmers for aggregation across the country with ultimate aim of sustainable business model and augmented incomes.
- SFAC is an exclusive Society focused on increasing incomes of small and marginal farmers through aggregation and development of agribusiness.
- SFAC has pioneered the formation and growth of Farmer Producer Organizations/Farmer Producer Companies, which is now being implemented across the length and breadth of the country. SFAC is progressing towards establishing an eco system for FPOs/FPCs to make them sustainable and viable in the long run.
- SFAC offers Schemes like Equity Grant and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme to FPCs to improve availability of working capital and development of business activities.
- SFAC promotes development of small agribusiness through its VCA Scheme for value added processing and marketing linkages.
- SFAC is also implementing the National Agriculture Market Electronic Trading (e-Nam) platform. The purpose is to provide for a single unified market for agricultural products with much higher price discovery for farmers.