Context: Recently, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
About Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- It was announced as part of the government’s Rs 20 lakh crore Atmanirbhar Bharat package in response to the Covid pandemic.
- Under the scheme, Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to farmers, Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Farmer Producers Organisations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHG) and others.
- 3% interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 Crore will be provided to the beneficiaries to increase the viability of these projects.
Significance of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- Post-harvest agriculture infrastructure: It is aimed at helping farmers and agri-entrepreneurs build “post-harvest agriculture infrastructure”.
- Community farming assets: It will facilitate the establishment of community farming assets.
- Farm Produce Storage and Cold Storage: It will help in creating better storage and modern cold storage chains in villages.
- Employment Opportunities: It will also create employment opportunities in rural areas.
Need for Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- The production of post-harvest garbage is a major problem faced by Indian farmers.
- The community 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 modern infrastructure established through Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will go a long way in setting up agro-based industries.
- The food-based products in the village will go to the city while other industrial goods from the cities will come to the village with better agriculture infrastructure.
Source: The Indian Express