PROJECT FUNDED BY: STRENGTHENING MAHARASHTRA'S AGRIBUSINESS NETWORKS (MAGNET) FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMING
PROJECT DURATION: 2022-25
In partnership with the Maharashtra Agribusiness Network Project (MAGNET), funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Yuva Mitra has embarked on a transformative journey to empower the state’s agricultural landscape. This collaborative initiative focuses on ten selected value chains, encompassing a diverse range of crops like banana, custard apple, green and red chilies, guava, okra, orange, pomegranate, sapota, strawberry, and sweet lime.
Enhancing Institutional and Technical Capacities
One of the project’s key outcomes, Output 1, is dedicated to strengthening the institutional, technical, and marketing capacities of agribusiness institutions and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs). Yuva Mitra, as the Center of Excellence (CoE), plays a pivotal role in achieving this outcome.
- Advocate policy reforms in post-harvest handling, food processing, and climate-resilient measures.
- Provide crop-specific guidelines for improved harvest quality, post-harvest handling, climate change adaptation, and relevant certification.
- Introduce best practices to enhance productivity, quality, safety, and climate compatibility, aligning with market and export requirements.
- Support FPOs in enhancing their business plans and strengthening their organizational and financial management capacities, with a special focus on FPOs led by women.
- Conduct training programs on the latest agricultural technologies for cultivation and agribusiness marketing.
- Facilitate leadership training and buyer-seller meets to foster closer links and supply arrangements between committed buyers and FPOs.
Strengthening Access to Finance
Output 2 of the MAGNET Project aims to enhance access to finance for FPOs and value chain operators (VCOs). This component includes providing investment and working capital sub-loans to beneficiaries through selected Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) and offering matching grants to beneficiaries.
Improving Agricultural Value Chain Infrastructure
Under Output 3, the project focuses on improving agriculture value chain infrastructure, a vital aspect of post-harvest management. The component addresses the need for capacity and productivity enhancement of existing facilities, including those managed by the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) and the National Institute of Post Harvest Technology. It also involves developing new infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for post-harvest handling and agribusiness.
- Expanding and modernizing seventeen identified facilities across the state.
- Developing three new facilities in Baramati, Pachod, and Bhiwandi, with a focus on cold-chain and packhouse segments.
- Strengthening the existing post-harvest management training facility at Talegaon, Pune.
- Ensuring that all construction work is climate-compatible and disaster-resilient.
Bringing It All Together: Yuva Mitra’s Role
As the Center of Excellence specializing in training and facilitation under the Institutional Building vertical, Yuva Mitra will play a pivotal role in the project’s success. Collaborating closely with MAGNET, the CoE will empower agribusiness institutions, FPOs, and value chain operators, enhancing their capacities and equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the dynamic agricultural landscape of Maharashtra.
This ambitious collaboration, spanning from July 2022 to August 2025, is poised to bring about transformative change in the state’s agricultural sector. Through innovation, capacity building, and market-driven approaches, this initiative promises to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for Maharashtra’s farming communities. By reducing food losses, increasing farm incomes, and promoting climate resilience, the project is set to make a significant impact on the lives of those involved in agriculture.