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PM Modi Launches Rs 1 Lakh Crore Agricultural Infrastructure Fund, Says Move To Improve India’s Ability To Compete Globally | India News

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NEW DELHI: In a move that can help farmers get a better price for their produce at farm gates, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a Rs 1 lakh crore agricultural infrastructure fund to support the construction of community agricultural assets across the country and said the efforts would enhance India’s ability to compete globally in the agricultural sector.
These agricultural infrastructures will allow farmers to derive greater value from their products as they could store and sell them at better prices based on market conditions, reduce waste and increase processing and value added.
On this occasion, the PM also released Rs 17,000 crore to almost 8.5 crore farmers under the sixth installment of the ongoing PM-Kisan scheme. The cash benefit was transferred directly to farmers’ Aadhaar verified bank accounts with the push of a button. With this transfer, the plan, so far, has provided more than Rs 90,000 crore in the hands of more than 10 crore farmers since its launch in February last year.
Addressing the occasion through a video conference, Modi said the country has a great opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions such as warehousing, cold chain and food processing, and to build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods.
He said this scheme would provide a good opportunity for startups in agriculture to reap the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that will benefit farmers and create new jobs in all corners of the country.
The Fund, announced as part of the Center’s economic stimulus package in May, is a medium and long-term debt financing mechanism for investment in viable post-harvest management infrastructure projects and community agricultural assets through interest and credit guarantee.
Under this 10-year scheme, banks and financial institutions will provide Rs one lakh crore as loans with an interest subsidy of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage for loans up to Rs 2 crore for a maximum period of seven years. There will be a moratorium on repayment from 6 months to 2 years.
Beneficiaries will include farmers, primary agricultural credit societies (PACS), marketing cooperative societies, farmer and producer organizations (OPF), self-help groups, joint responsibility groups, multipurpose cooperative societies, agribusinesses, start-ups, and central / projects of public-private partnership sponsored by state agencies or local bodies.
On the day of its launch, the first sanction of more than 1 billion rupees was made available to more than 2,280 farmers’ societies. Modi virtually interacted with three PACS from Karnataka, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh who are among the initial beneficiaries of the scheme and asked how they plan to use the loan.

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