A major decision taken by the Modi government to boost agriculture as the industry is this. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on Thursday gave its approval to the following modifications in the Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’:
- Eligibility has now been extended to State Agencies/APMCs, National & State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Federations of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
- At present Interest subvention for a loan up to Rs. 2 crore in one location is eligible under the scheme. In case, one eligible entity puts up projects in different locations then all such projects will now be eligible for interest subvention for loan up to Rs. 2 crores. However, for a private sector entity, there will be a limit of a maximum of 25 such projects. This limitation of 25 projects will not be applicable to state agencies, national and state federations of cooperatives, federations of FPOs and federation of SHGs. Location will mean the physical boundary of a village or town having a distinct LGD (Local Government Directory) code. Each of such projects should be in a location having a separate LGD code.
- For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan up to Rs. 2 crores will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types e.g. cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units, silos, et within the same market yard.
- The power has been delegated to Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to make necessary changes with regard to the addition or deletion of beneficiaries in such a manner so that the basic spirit of the scheme is not altered.
- The period of the financial facility has been extended from 4 to 6 years up to 2025-26 and the overall period of the scheme has been extended from 10 to 13 up to 2032-33.
The modifications in the Scheme will help to achieve a multiplier effect in generating investments while ensuring that the benefits reach small and marginal farmers. APMC markets are setup to provide market linkages and create an ecosystem of post-harvest public infrastructure open to all farmers.