Farmers of West Bengal need to transform themselves into entrepreneurs but the biggest problem for them to don the new hat is availability of capital and supply, speakers at a conclave said here on Monday.
With the changing circumstances, farmers are no more only growers but they need to transform themselves into entrepreneurs and exporters, Chopra said while addressing the "Rural Connect Conclave 2018" organised by Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He also stressed on connectivity, interlinking and knowledge sharing to bring all the stakeholders on a common platform.
"The biggest problem for small farmers to transform themselves into an entrepreneur is capital and supply. Especially in Bengal, farmers own small farms so producing any crop, vegetable or any other item in a massive scale is an impossible task," Chopra said.
The government is taking initiative to form "farmers' producers' organizations" (FPOs) where they will follow cooperative model of production and selling, he said.
FPO model of farming and selling is new and it is gaining popularity among farmers as the concept will free middle-men from the chain and enable them to find export market, he said.
The state government has decided to provide Rs 8,000 crore farming loans, he said.
Stating that the government's focus is to reduce poverty, the minister advised students not to just get a degree but work towards opportunities available in the state by making cooperatives and generate employment for others.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) plays an important role for the development of rural and farming economy with the cooperation of all stake holders, NABARD Chief General Manager Subrata Mondal said.
"Technology has to be taken to the villages to take advantage of untapped markets. Agriculture should develop into agri business," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)