Rs 1 lakh crore fund to be created for agriculture infrastructure projects

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday (May 15) announced Rs 1 Lakh crore fund for agriculture Infrastructure for farmers, saying, “Financing facility of Rs 1,00,000 crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points. The impetus for development pf farm-gate and aggregation point, affordable and financially viable post-harvest management infrastructure.”

As she said at the beginning of her media briefing that the third tranche will focus on agriculture, fisheries, dairy, food processing, and allied activities, agri-infrastructure related points are given below:

– Lack of adequate cold chain and Post Harvest Management infrastructure in the vicinity of farm-gate causing gaps in value chains.

– Focus has been on short term crop loans while investment in long term agriculture infrastructure has often not been enough.

– Financing facility of Rs 1,00,000 crore will be provided for funding Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate and aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organisations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Start-ups, etc.)

– The impetus for development of farm-gate & aggregation point, affordable and financially viable Post Harvest Management infrastructure

– Fund will be created immediately.

The Finance Minister also elaborated additional steps taken for fisheries during COVID-19 lockdown:

– All 4 COVID related announcements for fisheries implemented
– Validity of Sanitary Import Permits (SIPs) for import of Shrimp Broodstock extended by 3 months
– Condoned delay up to 1 month in the arrival of Broodstock consignments
– Allowed rebooking of Quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments with no additional charges
– Verification of documents and grant of NOC for Quarantine relaxed from 7 days to 3 days
– Registration of 242 Registered Shrimp hatcheries and Nauplii Rearing Hatcheries expiring on 31.03.2020 extended for 3 months
– Operations of Marine Capture Fisheries and Aquaculture relaxed to cover Inland Fisheries