Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is expected to enhance GDP, improve the Balance of Trade, and stimulate the global export potential of the agriculture sector.
The share of agriculture in India’s GDP is likely to increase with the recent ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’ of Rs 1 lakh crore, said the Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA). Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the financing facility of the fund on Sunday, which aimed at catalysing the Agri-infra development. The finance facility will help build pivotal infrastructures like warehouses, cold storage, and nurture farm assets, FAIFA added. The fund is also expected to enhance GDP, improve the Balance of Trade, and stimulate the global export potential of the agriculture sector. At present, agriculture contributes to over 14 per cent of the national GDP and provides livelihood to over 40 per cent of the nation’s workforce.
FAIFA, which is a non-profit organisation representing the cause of millions of farmers and farmworkers of commercial crops across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, etc, further said that the fund will be crucial for farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, startups, agri-tech players and farmer groups looking to boost the country’s agriculture infrastructure. The direct benefit of this critical infrastructure upgrade of the vulnerable agriculture sector will be farmers who will be able to get greater value for their produce, store and sell their crops at appropriate pricing, reduce farm wastage, increase processing time, and overall equip a farm-led New India to compete globally by making its presence felt in organic and fortified food, it added.
“This will help the farming sector to plan medium-to-long term debt financing facilities for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and build community farming assets through interest subvention and financial support. The fund will catalyse infrastructure development of modern cold storages, cold chain, and warehouses in villages, providing employment opportunities in rural areas,” said Yashwanth Chidipothu, National Spokesperson, FAIFA.
Meanwhile, the fund of Rs 1 lakh crore is to be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions, for which 11 of the 12 PSU banks have already signed MOUs. 3 per cent interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 crore will also be provided to the beneficiaries to increase the viability of these projects.