India to launch Rs 1 trillion Agri Infra fund tomorrow

Bloomberg Photo Service 'Best of the Week': A laborer sorts onions inside Shivshankar Trading Co.'s onion storehouse at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market in Lasalgaon, India, on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. India is preparing to import onions for the first time in two years as a surge in prices threatens to trigger a backlash against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before next yearís elections. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

PTI

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday launch a financing facility of Rs one trillion under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.

He will also release the sixth instalment of funds of Rs 17,000 crore to 85 million farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme, an official statement said on Saturday.

The virtual event will be witnessed by thousands of farmers and cooperatives across the country.

Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will also be present.

The Union Cabinet had approved the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the “Agriculture Infrastructure Fund” of Rs one trillion.

The fund will catalyse the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres and processing units, the statement pointed out.

These assets will enable the 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, it said.

Rs 1 trillion will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions.

Eleven 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 Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) scheme, launched on December 1 2018, has provided a direct cash benefit of over Rs 75,000 crore to more than 9.9 crore farmers, it said.

This has enabled them to fulfil their agricultural requirements and support their families.

The scheme has also been instrumental in supporting farmers during the Covid-19 pandemic, through the release of nearly Rs 22,000 crore.

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