Agri Ministry received applications totaling ₹23,000Cr under Agri Infra Fund.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated on Friday that the Agriculture Ministry has received applications totaling ₹23,000 crores under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF). ‘So far, we have received bids totaling ₹23,000 crores, of which ₹13,000 crores are being considered.
Banks have released around ₹9,000 crores under the AIF, which is still being worked on’ Tomar said. He was addressing the two-day National Conference of State Agriculture and Horticulture Ministers in Bengaluru.
To attract additional investments, ‘every state has promised to offer a push for the establishment of agro infrastructure projects under the plan,’ Tomar added.
In 2020, the government announced the establishment of a ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund to encourage private sector investments in sectors such as post-harvest management, storage, and processing, among others. The plan, among other things, allows for medium-long term debt for the establishment of agro infrastructure assets through credit guarantee for loans up to ₹2 crores, the interest subvention of 3% per annum, and a ceiling of ₹2 crores per project in one area.
Concentrate on organic farming
Tomar also stated that there are plans to give natural farming a mission mode approach, which would not only increase soil health but also minimize the need for pesticides. Natural farming covers a total of 4 lakh hectares in the nation.
Based on the conference’s discussions, states have committed to implementing technology interventions in areas such as natural farming, digital agriculture, crop insurance, the promotion of FPOs, and the sharing of excellent agricultural practices, among others.
The discussions would enable the Centre in developing a road map and plan for sustainable agricultural growth and farmer income enhancement, he added.
According to Shobha Karandlaje, Minister of State for Agriculture, 2023 has been designated as the International Year of Millets. The State Ministers also discussed the marketing and export of millets, as well as how to attain self-sufficiency in edible oils and fertilizers.