Some of the major objectives of the scheme include enhancing sales realisation of farmers that grow TOP by strengthening the production clusters and FPs, and linking or connecting them with the market.
The Narendra Modi-led government has given green signal to Rs 500-crore ‘Operations Greens’ project, which is part of its efforts to stabilise supplies and prices of three key vegetables namely onions, tomatoes, potatoes. The project aims to bring farmers closer to the marketplace with better logistics and processing facilities. The approval came nine months after the ‘Operation Greens’ program was announced by the Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech earlier this year.
“Price volatility of TOP (tomato, onion, potato) crops wreaks havoc in the households of this country. This is a revolutionary scheme which has evolved after sustained dialogue with all stakeholders and we have decided the strategy to stabilise prices of TOP crops and to make sure that TOP crops reach all households in the country around the year,” Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal said in an official statement.
The objective of ‘Operations Greens’
With an outlay of Rs 500 crore, the program was announced to promote farmer producers organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management. Some of the major goals of the scheme include boosting sales realisation of farmers that grow TOP by strengthening the production clusters and FPOs, and linking or connecting them with the market.
As part of the project, the government proposes to set up farm gate infrastructure, storage capacity linking consumption centres and agro-logistics, so as to reduce the post-harvest losses. The project will also include setting up a market intelligence network to collect and collate real-time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops, as well as raising food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters, the statement said.
The strategy of the program
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd has been appointed as the nodal agency for implementation of price stabilisation measures. Under the short-term price stabilisation measures, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries will provide 50% of the subsidy for transportation of TOP from the production to storage, as well as for storage facilities for these crops.
The long-term integrated value chain development projects will include quality production, capacity building of FPS and their consortium, marketing & consumption points, post-harvest procession facilities, agri-logistics and setting up e-platforms for demand and supply management of these three crops.
“The pattern of assistance will comprise of grants-in-aid at the rate of 50% of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs. 50 crores per project. However, in the case where PIA is/are FPO(s), the grant-in-aid will be at the rate of 70% of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs 50 crores per project,” the statement said.