Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a new Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore, an official statement said.
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, the statement added.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence in how farmers and the agriculture sector will benefit from the scheme. He said, “The scheme shall provide a financial boost to the farmers and agriculture sector and increase India’s ability to compete on the global stage”.
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.
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.
Modi further reiterated, “India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain, and food processing, and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods”. He also mentioned that this scheme provides a good opportunity for start-ups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.
The Prime Minister also interacted virtually with 3 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies from Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh who are among the initial beneficiaries of the scheme.