Agriculture transformation centre is a facility to implement integrated initiatives for the rural communities at select locations for facilitating agro commodities procurement. Agriculture transformation center is one of the rural development initiatives of agro-cluster which would not only promote inclusive rural development but would also serve as a backward linkage to the Agro-processing hubs in terms of raw material sourcing and supplying and forward linkage to the agro production zone.
The major activities of Agriculture transformation centre initiative include;
- Training and capacity building of rural population – Training opportunities to rural communities with the objective of enhancing their knowledge, skills and abilities so that they can earn more money and improve their living standards. Some of these training initiatives are in the areas of cultivation aspects, post – harvest handling, packaging and branding, product performance, animal feed management. A centre of excellence for training, advisory and capacity building shall be an integral part of Agriculture transformation centre.
- Market information centre – proposed as a one-stop information centre that combines information and services offered by various ministries and government agencies, this centre would provide information on the agro-food business development, price Watch, market trends, market demand in terms of products and quality etc.
- Agriculture support services – rural community would derive the benefit for productivity enhancement, premium vegetable production including high demand for vegetables capsicum, dairy aspects including raw milk marketing & quality aspects through the proposed components such as agriculture input services, agriculture equipment support services, agri clinic etc.
- Agro-food products processing – aims at developing food processing enterprises in the field level, emphasizes development and improvement in agro-food product quality for local and overseas markets. This would support agro-based industry development through value-added activities and improvement of income for the farming communities.
- Agricultural produce supply chain management – planned to re-rationalise the marketing concept of agricultural products through the management of supply chain from farms to consumers. This involves prudent planning, efficient execution, and appropriate control in the supply chain of agricultural products, particularly in movement and storage of raw materials, inventories and finished products from the points of production to the points of consumption.
- Institutes cooperation by way of extension centre – institutes cooperation by creating awareness through various programmes of the industry development institutes and with the objective of enhancing the socioeconomic status of rural communities
- Food, safety, quality and certification services – technical advisory services for food safety and assurance would help the food industry – especially for small and medium industries – to produce safe food by employing hygiene practices during the process. In addition, certification services for promoting would also benefit the users.
- Rural population micro financing facilities – financial institutions and government agencies would be providing micro credit facilities to borrowers at Agriculture transformation centres at low interest or profit rate to help the entrepreneurs conducting their business activities in Agriculture transformation centre.
Agriculture transformation centre can play a supportive role within its own capacity with other governmental and non-governmental programmes and initiatives that are dealing with the rural communities. This concept imparts valuable knowledge for the surrounding rural communities right from skill development,exposure to numerous governmental services, exploring business opportunities, and access to requisite information within the same premises. Agriculture transformation centre is not an umbrella initiative for inclusive rural development, rather a programme to support other governmental and non-governmental initiatives of rural development.