Infrastructure in Farm Sector


The Indian government launched the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Package in July 2020. The AIF, a medium to long-term debt financing facility with a corpus of Rs. 1 lakh crore, aims to facilitate investment in viable projects related to post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets. A press release on this matter was issued on 1st August, 2023.

Under the umbrella of AIF, all loans extended by lending institutions carry a 3% per annum interest subvention, applicable up to a limit of ₹2 crore. Additionally, eligible borrowers can avail credit guarantee coverage through the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for loans up to ₹2 crore. This coverage comes with the added benefit of the government covering the associated fees. The reimbursement of interest subvention and credit guarantee coverage will extend for a maximum period of 7 years. The operational timeline of the scheme spans from 2020-21 to 2032-33. The allocation of funds across states is outlined in the provided annexure.

Apart from the AIF scheme, several other initiatives are concurrently being executed to develop post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets:

  1. Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH): This mission offers assistance for the development of post-harvest management infrastructure for perishable horticulture crops. The scope includes the establishment of various facilities such as pack houses, pre-cooling units, cold storages, controlled atmosphere storage, and cold chain supply systems.
  2. Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure (AMI): Implemented under the Integrated Scheme for Agricultural Marketing (ISAM), this sub-scheme focuses on creating marketing infrastructure and scientific storage to minimize post-harvest losses. Beneficiaries include individuals, farmers, agri-preneurs, cooperatives, and state agencies, with capital subsidies available based on eligibility.
  3. Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (Infrastructure and Assets): Operating through the State Agriculture Infrastructure Development Programme (ASIDP), this initiative targets the establishment of key agriculture infrastructure such as laboratories, testing facilities, storage units, mobile vans, and more.
  4. Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM): Commenced in 2014, this initiative aims to extend mechanization benefits to small and marginal farmers. It promotes concepts like ‘Custom Hiring Centers’, widespread distribution of agricultural equipment, and capacity-building activities.
  5. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for NE Region (MOVCDNER): Since 2015-16, this scheme has supported certified organic production by offering comprehensive assistance ranging from production to marketing. It includes funding for infrastructure like processing units, pack-houses, and cold storage.

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