Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday assured full support to the states from the Centre for accelerating agriculture infrastructure development and formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) in the country.
Tomar held a meeting with states through video conferencing to deliberate the recent initiatives taken by the government in boosting the rural economy.
He said that Rs 1 lakh crore financing facility has been allocated for the establishment of Agriculture Infrastructure Projects at farm-gate and aggregation points (Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies, Farmers Producer Organizations, Agriculture entrepreneurs, Start-ups) which will be utilized for creating post-harvest infrastructure to avoid wastage of crop produce, which is about 15-20 per cent of total yield at present.
The Minister emphasized upon the need to utilize the agriculture infrastructure fund to mobilize a medium-long debt financing facility for investment in viable projects relating to post-harvest management.
On the occasion, Tomar released a booklet on new operational guidelines for formation and promotion of the FPOs.
The Agriculture Minister said that total 10,000 FPOs are to be formed till 2023-24 and support to each FPO is to be continued for 5 years. The cost of proposed scheme is Rs. 6,866 crores.
He assured that all the necessary support would be rendered to the states to accelerate agriculture infrastructure development, promotion of FPOs and extending credit facilities to the farmers through Kisan Credit Card (KCC).
The Minister underlined that KCC saturation drive was initiated by the government and target of issuing 2.5 crore KCCs by the end of year is set under the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ campaign.
Referring to the PM-Kisan Yojana and Kisan Credit Cards (KCC), Tomar said that out of around 14.5 crore operational farm landholdings, data on around 10.5 crore has been collected so far under PM-Kisan.
There are about 6.67 crore active KCC accounts presently. After the KCC saturation drive was started in February 2020, about 95 lakh applications have been received out of which 75 lakh applications have been sanctioned.