On 9th August 2020, PM Modi launched a new Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs. 1 Lakh Crore. The scheme will support farmers, PACS, FPOs, 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.
On 9th July 2020, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Modi gave its approval to Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
Salient Features of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
Under the scheme, Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans with interest subvention of 3% per annum and credit guarantee coverage under CGTMSE scheme for loans up to Rs. 2 Crore.
Beneficiaries covered under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund Scheme include:
- Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS),
- Marketing Cooperative Societies,
- Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs),
- Self Help Group (SHG),
- Joint Liability Groups (JLG),
- Multipurpose Cooperative Societies,
- Aggregation Infrastructure Providers and Central/State agency or
- Local Body sponsored Public Private Partnership Project
The duration of the scheme shall be from FY2020 to FY2029 (10 years).
Management: Agriculture Infrastructure fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the fund. The online platform will also provide benefits such as transparency of interest rates offered by multiple banks, scheme details including interest subvention and credit guarantee offered, minimum documentation, faster approval process as also integration with other scheme benefits.
National, State and District level Monitoring Committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.
On 9th August 2020, the first sanction of over Rs. 1000 Crore was made to over 2,280 farmer societies.
Brief About PM-Kisan Scheme
The PM-KISAN scheme was launched in December 2018 to provide income support by way of a cash benefit to all landholding farmers (subject to certain exclusion criteria) to enable them to fulfill their agricultural requirements and support their families.
Under the scheme, the financial benefit of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to eligible beneficiary farmers in three equal instalments.
On 9th August 2020, the 6th instalment 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 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.
Update Jan 2021: In a RTI reply, it was revealed that After Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan has the highest number of women beneficiaries under PM-KISAN scheme, over 22.70 lakh, in the country (as of September 7, 2020). Source