Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today launched a new Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore. The scheme will support farmers, PACS, FPOs, Agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure. These assets will enable farmers to get greater value for their produce as they will be able to store and sell at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.

Today, only 30 days after Cabinet formally approved the scheme, the first sanction of over Rs. 1000 Crore was made to over 2,280 farmer societies. The event was conducted through video conference and was attended by lakhs of farmers, FPOs, cooperatives, PACS, and citizens joining from across the country.

At the same event, the Prime Minister also released the 6th installment under the PM-KISAN scheme of Rs. 17,000 Crore to nearly 8.5 Crore farmers. The cash benefit was transferred directly to their Aadhaar verified bank accounts with the press of a button. With this transfer, the scheme has provided over 90,000 Crore in the hands of more than 10 Crore farmers since its launch on 01 December 2018.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee. The duration of the scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years). Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE scheme for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore. The beneficiaries will include farmers, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, FPOs, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects.

PM-KISAN

The PM-KISAN scheme was launched in December 2018 to provide income support by way of a cash benefit to all landholding farmers (subject to certain exclusion criteria) to enable them to fulfill their agricultural requirements and support their families. Under the scheme, the financial benefit of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to eligible beneficiary farmers in three equal installments.

A new dawn for the agriculture sector

These steps are the latest in a series of reforms taken by the Government of India under the guidance of the Prime Minister. These measures will collectively herald a new dawn for the agriculture sector in India and show the government’s commitment to championing the cause of ensuring the welfare and sustainability of livelihoods for the farmers of India.

Author

M.N is a seasoned journalist and tracks stories on a variety of topics in the food processing industry. A journalist with an editing background at news services and magazines, he is also driving editorial projects in few other B2B segments.

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