Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 1 lakh crore for agriculture infrastructure in 3rd tranche of stimulus package

15 May, 2020 | newsx bureau

Nirmala Sitharaman National

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the third tranche of the stimulus package announced Rs 1 lakh crore for Agriculture Infrastructure.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced Rs 1 lakh crore agriculture infrastructure fund for farm gate infrastructure for farmers and Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs) in the third tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. As part of the Agri Infrastructure Fund, a financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organisations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, start-ups, etc). The fund will be created immediately.

Sitharaman also said that the Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of MFE promotes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local with global outreach.’
She said that unorganized MFEs units need technical up-gradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands, and marketing. The scheme will help two lakh MFEs attain the goals.

The existing micro food enterprises, farmer producer organization, self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperatives will be supported. The scheme is expected to improve health and safety standards, integration with retail markets among others.

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The Finance Minister also announced a Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalization of micro-food enterprises (MFEs). A cluster-based approach will be taken for unorganized MEFs to get technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards. All schemes will be launched to help two lakh MFEs attain their goals. The existing MFEs, farmer producer organizations, self-help groups, and cooperatives will stand to benefit and reach untapped export markets.

Sitharaman said that critical gaps in the existing fisheries value chain need to be filled. The government will launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine fisheries. A sum of Rs 11,000 crore will be allocated for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture besides Rs 9,000 crore for infrastructure development. “This will lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over the next five years.” For 100 percent vaccination of all animals across the country, a national animal disease control programme for the foot-and-mouth disease will be launched with an outlay of Rs 13,343 crore for an estimated 53 crore cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population. Since January this year, a total of 1.5 crore cows and buffalos have been tagged and vaccinated to establish their traceability.


Sitharaman said that an animal husbandry development fund worth Rs 15,000 crore will be set up to support private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure. Incentives to be given to private sector players for establishing plants for the export of niche products. The National Medicinal Plant Board has supported 2.25 lakh hectare area under cultivation of medicinal plants. Nearly one lakh hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in the next two years with an outlay of Rs 4,000 crore. This will generate Rs 5,000 crore of income for farmers. The Finance Minister also announced a Rs 500 crore bee-keeping initiative to increase yield and quality of crops through pollination. This will increase the income of nearly two lakh bee-keepers.

On Thursday, Sitharaman announced the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, free food grain supply to migrants, and creation of affordable rental housing complexes (ARHC) in urban areas for migrant workers and poor in the second tranche of the COVID-19 stimulus package. The Prime Minister had on Tuesday announced a Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package for the country to become ‘self-reliant’ and deal with the COVID-19 crisis.