Policy Producer Organisation

Issues in Policy Implementation: Insights from an E-survey on Operational Guidelines for 10,000 FPOs

Working Paper 317
Issues in Policy Implementation: Insights from an E-survey on Operational Guidelines for 10,000 FPOs
C Shambu Prasad, Deborah Dutta, and Vandana Ravichandran

The purpose of the Working Paper Series (WPS) is to provide an opportunity to IRMA faculty, visiting fellows, and students to sound out their ideas and research work before publication and to get feedback and comments from their peer group. Therefore, a working paper is to be considered as a pre-publication document of the Institute. This is a pre-publication draft for academic circulation and comments only.

Public policy reviews tend to concentrate on either policy formulation or ex-post implementation appraisal, often leaving the policymaking black box unchanged. Stakeholder consultations on the mundane guideline details also hold the key to better policy execution. The Covid 19 pandemic complicates consultative policy-making processes and could lead to weak stakeholder buy-in. This paper highlights an innovation of a recent key policy document in Indian agriculture- the operational guidelines for promoting 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) by 2024. Key stakeholders, representatives from FPOs and their federations, sponsoring and training organisations, donors and other ecosystem players with substantial experience working with FPOs were invited to participate and express their views on the policy document through a detailed e-survey in July 2020. The paper presents esurvey results showing a high degree of involvement and optimism about the new policy.

A strong endorsement of the long-term vision along with milestone-based support and enhanced funding arrangements in the new scheme emerges. However, respondents also voiced their concerns on the “One District One Product” blueprint and the grassroots level implementation capacity of the proposed new institutional architecture, the overall role of the National Project Management Agency (NPMA) and its ability to roll out a diversified portfolio through implementing agencies and Community Based Business Organisations (CBBOs). Respondents were also surprised by the absence of policy support for the large number of FPOs formed in the last few years; they appear to have been left to fend for themselves despite significant efforts in social mobilisation and incubating member-owned collective enterprises for growth and sustainability.