Addressing a press conference on Friday, May 15, Union Finance Minister unveiled 8 new measures to strengthen the infrastructure of agriculture and allied sectors. Initially, she listed the steps undertaken by the Centre during the nationwide lockdown to aid agriculture, fisheries, dairy, animal husbandry and allied activities. These include the purchase of agricultural produce worth more than Rs.74,300 crore at Minimum Support Price, 560 lakh litres of milk procured every day as against 360 lakh litres, 2% interest subvention on prompt payment.
1. Rs.1 lakh crore for farm-gate infrastructure- Considering the lack of adequate cold chain infrastructure in the vicinity of farm-gate causing gaps in value chains, the Centre shall provide funding of Rs.1 lakh crore for agricultural infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points. This shall also give an impetus for the development of financially viable post-harvest management infrastructure.
2. Rs.10,000 crore for Formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises- Following PM Modi's motto of 'Go local for vocal', a scheme will be launched to ensure that unorganised Micro Food Enterprises get technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards and build brands. This shall help improve safety standards, integration with retail markets and boost incomes.
3. Rs.20,000 crore for fishermen- The Centre will launch the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable and inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries. While Rs.11,000 crore shall be sanctioned for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture, Rs.9000 crore will be focused on fishing harbours, cold chain and markets. This shall result in employment to over 55 lakh persons and double exports to Rs.1 lakh crore.
Government to launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine and inland fisheries to plug critical gaps in fisheries value chain; move will provide employment to over 55 lakh persons & double exports to Rs 1 lakh crore pic.twitter.com/ZDV2ldSEV2— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 15, 2020
4. National Animal Disease Control Programme worth Rs. 13,343 crore launched to ensure 100% vaccination of 53 crore animals for Foot and Mouth Disease and brucellosis.
National Animal Disease Control Programme has been launched with total outlay of Rs. 13,343 crores for 100% vaccination of cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population in India#AatmaNirbharDesh #AatmanirbharBharat pic.twitter.com/cbRer9Bccj— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 15, 2020
5. Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs.15,000 crore will be set up with an aim to encourage private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure. Incentives shall be given for establishing plants of export of niche products. Many areas in the country have high potential for private investment in dairy.
6. Rs.4000 crore has been sanctioned for the promotion of herbal cultivation. 10 lakh hectares shall be covered under herbal cultivation in the next two years. This shall lead to an income generation of Rs.5000 crore for farmers.
7. Scheme for beekeeping- The Centre shall implement a scheme worth Rs.500 crore for infrastructure development pertaining to Integrated Beekeeping Centres, collection, marketing and storage centres, post-harvest facilities etc. This move shall lead to an increase in income for 2 lakh beekeepers and ensure availability of quality honey.
Government to implement a scheme for infrastructure development related to Beekeeping; aims to increase income for 2 lakh beekeepers with special thrust on capacity building of women#AatmaNirbharDesh #AatmanirbharBharat pic.twitter.com/YifQlh39uy— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) May 15, 2020
8. Extension of Operation Greens to all fruits and vegetables- This scheme shall provide 50% subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets and 50% subsidy on storage. It will result in better prices for farmers and reduced wastages.