Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (Photo | PTI)
Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (Photo | PTI)

Government decides to set up an agriculture infrastructure fund

The Agri-Infra Fund was part of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in response to the COVID-19 disaster.

NEW DELHI:  The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to a new Agriculture Infrastructure Fund focused on post-harvest management and nurturing agricultural assets.

In the course of 10 years, the scheme seeks to extend a funding of Rs 1 lakh crore to boost the scaling up of agricultural marketing, while strengthening the 10,000 farmers’ producers organizations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs).

The banking and financial institutions under the scheme will extend the funding as loans to primary agricultural credit societies (PACS), marketing cooperative societies, FPOs, SHGs, farmers, joint liability groups (JLG), multipurpose cooperative societies, etc.

The scheme has come in the backdrop of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching, a few months ago, 10,000 FPOs in several states from Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh.

The FPOs are focused on bringing onboard small and marginal farmers to pool their resources, including land, for better outcomes, while availing institutional credit, market linkages and formal scientific inputs.

While Rs 10,000 crore as loans will be extended to the targeted beneficiaries in the current financial year, Rs. 30,000 crore each would be provided in the next three financial years.

The New Indian Express