Infrastructure in Farm Sector
The Government has been assisting in the creation of Infrastructure Facilities in the Agriculture Sector through the implementation of various schemes
Infrastructure plays an important role in farming at every single step for the sowing of crops, supply of input, and post-harvest management. Planned investment in the agriculture infrastructure sector is vital to increase productivity and reduce post-harvest losses; this will also result in capacity setup and higher income generation. In India, post-harvest losses are comparatively higher because of gaps in basic agriculture infrastructures like pack houses, storage houses, the lack of a proper supply chain, etc.
In order to summarize the existing infrastructure gaps and mobilize agricultural investment infrastructure, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) was launched under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package in July 2020. AIF is a medium – long-term debt financing facility of Rs. 1 lakh crore to be financed by lending institutions for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.
All finance loans facility will have an interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of ₹ 2 crore. Credit guarantee coverage will be available for eligible borrowers from this financing facility under Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for a loan up to ₹ 2 crore. The Government will pay the fee for this coverage. This reimbursement of interest subvention will be available for a maximum period of 7 years. The Scheme is operational from 2020-21 to 2032-33. Tentative State-wise allocation under AIF is given in Annexure.
According to the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, apart from AIF Scheme, the following schemes are also being implemented for creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farm assets.
Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), provides assistance for development of Post Harvest Management (PHM) for perishable horticulture crops which includes establishment of pack house, Integrated pack house, pre-cooling, staging cold room, cold storages, controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, reefer transport, setting up of ripening chambers and Integrated cold chain supply system etc.
For creation of Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI) including Scientific Storage and to reduce post-harvest and handling losses, the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Govt. of India is implementing sub-scheme “Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI)” of Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM) across the country. It is an open ended, Demand driven and credit linked scheme wherein back ended capital subsidy @ 25% and 33.33% is available based on the eligible category of beneficiary. Assistance is available to Individuals, Farmers, Group of farmers/growers, Agri-preneurs, Registered Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs), Cooperatives, and state agencies etc.
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (Infrastructure and Assets): Projects under this stream will emanate from State Agriculture Infrastructure Development Programme (ASIDP). This will normally include projects selected on the basis of normative requirement of infrastructure, actual availability thereof and the gap in agriculture infrastructure in the state viz. setting up of laboratories and testing facilities, storage including cold-storages, mobile vans, agricultural marketing etc.
Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) is being executed in DA&FW w.e.f April 2014, which focuses on ‘reaching the unreached by bringing to the small and marginal farmers in the core and giving the benefits of farm mechanization, by Promoting ‘Custom Hiring Centers’, distribution of various agricultural equipment, creating hubs for hi-tech & high-value farm equipment, creating awareness among stakeholders through demonstration and capacity building activities, and ensuring performance- testing and certification at designated testing centers located all over the country.
Under the Mission Organic Value Chain Development for NE Region (MOVCDNER), DA&FW is promoting certified organic production since 2015-16. The scheme provides end to end support to organic farmers from organic production to certification and marketing including post harvest management support like processing, packaging, storage etc. Need based financial support for creating infrastructure facilities like integrated processing unit, integrated pack-house, cold store etc. are provided to States under MOVCDNER