Mission Self-Reliant India: Govt announces setting up of Rs 1 lakh crore agri fund for farm-gate infrastructure

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GS Paper III: Issues related to direct and indirect farm subsidies and minimum support prices; Public Distribution System- objectives, functioning, limitations, revamping; issues of buffer stocks and food security; Technology missions; economics of animal-rearing.

Context: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans for a ₹1 lakh crore agriculture infrastructure fund as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package.

The third tranche of the stimulus package also included plans to strengthen infrastructure in food processing, fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, herbal cultivation and beekeeping with a total funding of ₹50,000 crore, including funds allocated earlier in the budget.

What you need to know about Farm Infrastructure Fund?

  • The ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will be financed and managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
  • Financing will be provided to primary agriculture cooperative societies, farmer producer organisations, agriculture entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop cold chain storage and other post-harvest management infrastructure at the farm gate and aggregation points.
  • The underlying principle is to empower the people, give them resources so that they can produce for themselves and have livelihoods for themselves rather than going for entitlements
  • This rationale drives the plan for a ₹10,000 crore scheme to support two lakh micro-food processing enterprises, providing technical support to reach FSSAI health and safety standards, build brands and marketing.
  • A ₹20,000 crore scheme to support fishworkers and build harbours and cold chain storage was previously announced in the Budget.
  • A ₹15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Fund will be used to incentivise private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure.