Equity Grant Fund Scheme

The Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The SFAC was mainly developed to increase the income of small and marginal farmers through the development of agribusiness. Under SFAC, various schemes like equity grant scheme and credit guarantee fund scheme were launched to improve the working capital and development of business activities. In this article, we look at the Equity Grant Fund scheme in detail.

Equity Grant Fund Scheme:

The Equity Grant Fund (EGF) Scheme intends to support Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) by providing an amount equivalent to the equity contribution done by the members in the FPCs. The scheme will be addressed by the SFAC which affords the maximum amount of Rs. 10 lakhs per FPC in two payments. The emerging FPC capital should not be above Rs. 30 lakhs on the date of application of the scheme.

Objectives of the Scheme:

The objectives of the Equity Grant Fund are explained as below.

  • To improve the viability and sustainability of Farmer Producer Companies (FPC).
  • To increase the creditworthiness of Farmer Producer Companies (FPC).
  • To enhance the shareholding of members to increase their ownership and participation in their Farmer Producer Companies (FPC).

Eligibility Criteria:

The following are the eligibility criteria of the Equity Grant Fund scheme.

  • The FPC should be duly registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956.
  • The FPC should have raised equity from its members as per association/bye-laws.
  • The FPC should contain the number of individual shareholders not less than 50 shareholders.
  • The paid-up equity does not exceed Rs. 30 Lakh.
  • The FPC should contain at least 33% of its shareholders such as small, marginal and landless tenant farmers as specified by the Agriculture Census carried out periodically by the Ministry of Agriculture, GOI.
  • The maximum shareholding of an institutional member should not be more than 10% of the total equity of the FPC.
  • The FPC should have duly elected Board of Directors (BOD) with five members, representation from member farmers and minimum one woman member.
  • The FPC should have a duly constituted Management Committee responsible for the business of the FPC.
  • The FPC should have a business plan and budget for the next 18 months which is based on a revenue model as determined by the Implementing Agency.
  • The FPC should have an Account with a Scheduled “Bank”. FPC should hold a Statement of Accounts audited by a Charted Accountant (CA) for at least one full financial year.

Documents Required:

The specified documents for applying for this scheme are mentioned below.

  • Application form of duly signed by two Board Members/Authorized Representative of FPC on each page.
  • Category wise allotment of shares of FPC and proposed computation of allotment of shares out of Equity Grant to be enclosed.
  • Resolution of the FPC Board or Governing Council to obtain Equity Grant, issue of shares to the shareholders against the Equity Grant and transfer of shares (issued against Equity Grant) in case of the exit of any shareholder from FPC to be enclosed.
  • The Resolution will be approved in the next AGM of the FPC may be submitted on the lines of Annexure-III.
  • Resolution for appointment of Chief Executive Officer of Company
  • Audited Financial Statements for the last financial year.
  • Copy of bank statement for last six months duly authenticated by the Branch Manager of the Bank.
  • KYC documents of only those Representatives/Directors authorized by the Board of FPC for executing and signing documents with SFAC.
  • Certificate of incorporation/commencement of business, Memorandum of Association/Articles of Association.
  • The business plan for 18 months.