Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund for farm gate infrastructure for farmers and Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFEs) in the third tranche of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package.
As part of Agri Infrastructure Fund, financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore will be provided for funding agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organisations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, start-ups, etc). The fund will be created immediately.
Sitharaman also said that the Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of MFE promotes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local with global outreach.’
She said that unorganised MFEs units need technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards, build brands and marketing. The scheme will help two lakh MFEs attain the goals.
The existing micro food enterprises, farmer producer organisation, self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperatives will be supported. The scheme is expected to improve health and safety standards, integration with retail markets among others.
On Thursday, Sitharaman announced the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, free food grain supply to migrants and creation of affordable rental housing complexes (ARHC) in urban areas for migrant workers and poor in the second tranche of the COVID-19 stimulus package.
The Prime Minister had on Tuesday announced a Rs 20 lakh crore special economic package for the country to become ‘self-reliant’ and deal with COVID-19 crisis.