FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces setting up of Rs 1 lakh crore agri infrastructure fund
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced setting up of a 1 lakh crore rupees agri infrastructure fund for farm-gate infrastructure. Briefing media in New Delhi about the third tranche of 20 lakh crore economic package, the Minister said this fund will be used for setting up cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure. The Minister said the third tranche, would focus on infrastructure and building capacities in the agriculture and allied activities.
The Minister also announced a 10,000 crore rupee scheme for formalisation of micro food enterprises, MFEs. The scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs by adopting cluster-based approach such as mango in Uttar Pradesh, kesar in Jammu and Kashmir, bamboo shoot in North-East, chilli in Andhra Pradesh, and tapioca in Tamil Nadu. This fund would help in reaching untapped export markets in view of improved health consciousness.
She said that in the last two months of lockdown, several measures have been taken to support farmers, including minimum support price purchases of 73,300 crore rupees.
A 13,343 crore fund was launched to ensure 100 percent vaccination of 53 crore cattles for foot-and-mouth disease. The Finance Minister also announced Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of 15,000 crore rupees to support investment in dairy processing. She announced 4,000 crore rupees for promotion of herbal cultivation to bring 10 lakh hectares of land under herbal growing in next 2 years. A total of 500 crore rupees has been allocated for beekeeping initiatives to benefit 2 lakh beekeepers in rural areas.