India Pegs $9.20 billion Investment on Agri-Infra Schemes02 May 2014
INDIA - In order to develop agriculture infrastructure in the country, India has set aside $9.20 billion that will be spent on developing integrated scheme for agricultural marketing in the 12th plan period (2012-2017), writes Jagdish Kumar.
Under the plan, investments will be used for developing agriculture marketing infrastructure, secondary agriculture and policy for internal and external trade.
The funds will also be invested as per the recommendation of the Indian Planning Commission Working Group on Warehousing Development and Regulation, 35 million tonnes of storage capacities needs to be added during XII Plan period.
The investment will also be made on developing infrastructure for managing marketable surplus of agriculture, which includes horticulture as well as dairy, poultry, fishery, livestock and minor forest produce.
The government will also focus on promoting innovative and latest technologies in agricultural marketing infrastructure by encouraging private and cooperative sector investments.
Besides, storage, infrastructure will be developed for grading, standardisation and quality certification of agricultural produce so as to ensure a fair price to the farmers.
Apart from grading and quality certification of produce, government will also pledge financing and marketing credit, negotiable warehousing receipt system and promotion of forward and future markets to increase farmers’ income.
Of the funds set aside some will go in building integrated value chain that has been defined in agriculture marketing which will provide proper flow of subsidy to the entrepreneurs under the scheme.
The government’s main focus is providing agriculture marketing subsidies through transferring direct benefits to the farmers.
Another focus will be to push for pledge finance to the farmers to prevent them from distress sell and to keep their produce in the storage infrastructure and those farmers who will keep the produce in storage infrastructure will be eligible for pledge loan on hypothecation of their produce.
In order to discourage distress farmers, the scheme will provide small and marginal farmers with credit support if they have a Kisan (farmers) credit card.
The farmers will be encouraged to store their produce in warehouses against warehouse receipts to gain these benefits.
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