The scheme is expected to benefit lakhs of poor and marginal farmers in India

Launching the financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the scheme will benefit farmers and the agriculture sector and consequently, increase the country’s ability to compete on the global stage.

“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 Prime Minister said.

He also maintained that the scheme provides a good opportunity for start-ups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.

The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction with the pace of implementation of the PM-KISAN scheme.

He also noted that the scale of the program is so large that the funds released today have reached more people than the entire population of several countries taken together.

He also congratulated states for playing an important role in the implementation and assisting farmers through the entire process from registration all the way to disbursals.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister also released the 6th installment under the PM-KISAN scheme of Rs. 17,000 Crore to nearly 8.5 Crore farmers. The cash benefit was transferred directly to their Aadhaar verified bank accounts with the press of a button.

With this transfer, the scheme has provided over 90,000 Crore in the hands of more than 10 Crore farmers since its launch on 01 December 2018.

The Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar, was also present on the occasion which was witnessed by lakhs of farmers, cooperatives, and citizens across the country.

The Union Cabinet had approved the Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the fund. This will catalyze the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets such as cold storage, collection centres, and processing units, the statement said.

It added that these assets would enable farmers to get greater value for their produce, as they would be able to store and sell them at higher prices, reduce wastage, and increase processing and value addition.

The scheme’s financing facility will be in partnership with multiple lending institutions. According to the PMO statement, 11 of the 12 Public Sector Banks have already signed MOUs with the DAC&FW. The beneficiaries will be provided 3 percent interest subvention and credit guarantee of up to Rs 2 crore to increase the viability of these projects.

The beneficiaries of the scheme will include farmers, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, FPOs, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Startups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored Public-Private Partnership projects.