New Delhi, July 8: The government on Wednesday approved setting up an agriculture infrastructure fund with a corpus of Rs 1 lakh crore to provide financial support to entrepreneurs, agri-tech companies and farmer groups for infrastructure and logistics facilities.
The decision was taken in the cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Agri-Infra Fund was part of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in response to the COVID-19 disaster.
Briefing the media about the cabinet decisions, agriculture minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, said, "It is a historic decision. This will further the agriculture sector."
He said that financial facilities of over Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided to primary agri-credit societies, farmers groups, farmer producer organisations (FPOs), agri-entrepreneurs, and agri-tech players.
According to the minister, loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs 30,000 crore each in the next three financial years.
The funds will be provided for setting up of cold storages and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms, ripening chambers besides PPP projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central and state government, along with local bodies.