New Delhi, Feb 3 : The central government on Tuesday said that with access to low cost credit under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), APMCs can setup post-harvest infrastructure such as sorting and grading units, assaying units, drying yards, cold storages, and warehouses for the benefit of farmers for better price realisation of quality produce, ability to store and sell at a better price and minimise post of harvest looses, as the suitable infrastructure will help to reduce post-harvest losses, which can be as high as 5-10 percent of the produce.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in Union Budget 2021-22 that Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) will become eligible beneficiaries to utilize the 1 lakh crore financing facility under AIF to enhance infrastructure at Mandis.
“APMCs are state controlled markets that are setup to provide market linkages to farmers. Market yards or Mandis provide space for auction to ensure that farmers obtain best possible price for their produce. However, these markets continue to require up gradation and set up of more modern infrastructure. With access to low cost credit under AIF, they can setup post-harvest infrastructure such as sorting and grading units, assaying units, drying yards, cold storages, and warehouses for the benefit of farmers for better price realization of quality produce, ability to store and sell at a better price and minimize post of harvest looses,” said the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in a statement.
The AIF is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
The duration of the scheme is from FY2020 to FY2029. Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore. The beneficiaries include farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership Projects, and now APMC mandis.
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