Striving to rein in grain drain

Post-harvest losses

Vijay C Roy

PM Narendra Modi not too long ago launched a Central scheme of Rs 1 lakh crore below the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund for agri-entrepreneurs, startups, agri-tech gamers and farmer producer organisations (FPOs) for constructing post-harvest infrastructure and nurturing farm property. It is believed that the property will allow farmers to get better worth for his or her produce as they’ll be capable of retailer and promote at increased costs, decreasing wastage and rising processing and worth addition. The PM acknowledged that India had an enormous alternative to put money into post-harvest administration options like warehousing, chilly chains, and meals processing, and construct a world presence in areas equivalent to natural and fortified meals.

Stakeholders say this can be a step in the appropriate course however the important thing would lie in its implementation. Post-harvest losses have a direct affect on small farmers’ revenue. The small farmer typically doesn’t have all of the amenities of farm mechanisation. This results in improper harvesting and crop losses. Also, lack of major processing impacts the shelf lifetime of the product and will increase post-harvest losses. Then, lack of market linkages additional negatively impacts the farmers.

According to a Nasscom survey, post-harvest losses in India quantity to $13 billion yearly. In the case of grains, it’s estimated to be round 10 per cent, whereas for horticulture produce, in response to the trade, the farmer’s losses are estimated at 25-30%.

In Punjab, like different states, there have been situations during which foodgrains price crores of rupees have been broken because of improper storage. Also, there have been circumstances during which growers dumped greens on the street because of bumper manufacturing and a drastic fall in costs. According to consultants, demand-driven chilly chains, warehouse monitoring options and market linkage can considerably lower such losses and increase farmers’ revenue within the state.

Funds shall be supplied for the establishing of chilly shops and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging items, e-marketing factors linked to e-trading platforms and ripening chambers, moreover PPP initiatives for crop aggregation sponsored by Central, state and native our bodies.

Boost for FPOs

“The announcement of the Agri Infra Fund is a welcome decision by the government as it will help the FPOs in creating their infrastructure and enable farmers gain more value for their produce. This initiative supports the collaboration we have put in place together with FPOs to increase the income of farmers,” says Debarshi Dutta, CEO, BPC Technologies India Pvt Ltd.

Also, in response to the trade, the transfer comes as a lift to the mission of high quality management as requirements of farm produce provide may be higher monitored and managed by the FPOs with the creation of their very own setup utilizing this fund. This will allow higher returns for the produce to the farmers.

GDP contribution

The fund can even assist the agriculture sector improve its contribution to the state GDP, stimulate better export potential of the farm sector and guarantee a secure and affluent life for farmers by rising incomes.

“The fund will catalyse infrastructure development of modern cold storages and cold chains as well as warehouses in villages; it will also provide employment opportunities in rural areas as farmers will be benefited directly,” says Manpreet Brar, a progressive farmer.

He provides that they’ll be capable of get better worth for his or her produce, retailer and promote their crops at acceptable pricing, cut back farm wastage, improve processing time and general equip an agriculture-led New India to compete globally.

Will assist in long term

The fund may be anticipated to spice up rural demand for industrial items and providers. “It is a welcome step. There is a lot of investment needed in this sector vis-a vis cold chains, cold stores, silos, and taking care of post-harvest needs. This will definitely give encouragement to people coming forward to invest. The fund, provided there is proper investment, can play a role in reducing post-harvest losses in the long run,” says Sarvjit Singh Samra, MD, Capital Small Finance Bank Ltd.

Agriculture Infrastructure Fund

The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, the period of which shall be until 2029, goals to supply medium-to-long time period debt financing facility for funding in viable initiatives for post-harvest administration infrastructure and group farming property by means of curiosity subvention and monetary assist. Under the scheme, Rs1 lakh crore shall be supplied by banks and monetary establishments as loans with curiosity subvention of three% each year and credit score assure protection below the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) scheme for loans as much as Rs2 crore.

Beneficiaries will embody farmers, advertising cooperative societies, FPOs, self-help teams, joint legal responsibility teams, multipurpose co-op societies, agri-entrepreneurs, startups, and Central/state company/native body-sponsored public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives.

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