PM to launch financing facility of Rs 1 lakh cr under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi (NVI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore under the ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’ tomorrow, to initiate the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets.

PM Modi will also release the sixth instalment of funds of Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme through video conferencing, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore was approved by the Union cabinet as a Central Sector Scheme under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund. The event will be witnessed by farmers, cooperatives along with Union minister of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar.

The fund aims to catalyze the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres, processing units, etc. These 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 statement said.

Rs one lakh crore will a be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions, it added.

Meanwhile, 11 of the 12 public sector banks have already signed MOUs with the Department of Agriculture. A three per cent interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to the beneficiaries to increase the viability of these projects.

The beneficiaries of the scheme includes farmers, PACS, marketing cooperative societies, FPOs, SHGs, joint liability groups (JLG), multipurpose cooperative societies, agri-entrepreneurs, startups and central/state agency.

The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna (PM-KISAN) scheme was launched in December 2018 and has provided a direct cash benefit of over Rs 75,000 crore to more than 9.9 crore farmers, according to the agriculture ministry data.

However, the scheme has, facilitated transfer of Rs 22,000 crore to aid the farmers during the lockdown period enforced to curb COVID-19 pandemic.

-RJV