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Relevant for: Indian Economy | Topic: Agriculture Issues and related constraints

Big boost:Narendra Modi addressing the nation at the launch of the financing scheme on Sunday.PTI  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a new financing scheme under the Rs. 1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund meant for setting up storage and processing facilities, which will help farmers get higher prices for their crops, according to the government statement.

Mr. Modi launched the scheme via videoconferencing and interacted with farmers across the country. He also released the sixth instalment of funds under the PM-KISAN scheme, which amounted to Rs. 17,000 crore to about 8.5 crore farmers. The first Rs. 1,000 crore was sanctioned on Sunday to over 2,280 farmer societies under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, which was approved by the Cabinet a month ago, the statement said.

“The scheme will support farmers, PACS [primary agricultural credit societies], FPOs [farmer producer organisations], agri-entrepreneurs, etc. in building community farming assets and post-harvest agriculture infrastructure. These assets will enable 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,” the statement said.

During the launch, Mr. Modi spoke to representatives from three PACS from Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, who are beneficiaries of the scheme. He later addressed the country. Mr. Modi said the scheme would give farmers and the agriculture sector a boost and “increase India’s ability to compete on the global stage”.

Mr. Modi reiterated that “India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain, and food processing, and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods,” the statement said.

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