23 January 2023, New Delhi: Within two-and-a-half years of the implementation of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), the scheme has mobilized more than Rs 30,000 crore for projects in the agriculture infrastructure sector with a sanctioned amount of Rs 15,000 crore under AIF.
With the support of 3% interest subvention, credit guarantee support through CGTMSE for the loan of upto Rs 2 crore and facility of convergence with other Central and State Government Scheme, AIF is providing all-around financial support to the farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, farmer groups like Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), etc. and many others to create post-harvest management infrastructure and build community farming asset throughout the country.
Anand Patel, a farmer from Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh realized the importance and need for mechanization in agriculture, especially for small and marginal farmers for whom agriculture machineries are not affordable. He established a hi-tech hub where agriculture machineries are provided on a rental basis to the local farmers. This Hi-tech Hub has 12 Farm machinery including a combine harvester, thresher, laser land leveler, tractors, zero till seed cum fertilizer drill, mulcher, etc. that costs around Rs. 60.82 Lakhs which seemed a lot for a farmer like Mr. Patel. But through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and its unique feature of convergence with other Central Government and State Government schemes, Mr. Patel was not only able to secure a loan of Rs 45.62 Lakhs at an interest rate of just 5.4% but also got the benefit of capital subsidy of 40% of the total project cost under Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization (SMAM) scheme of MoA&FW. Now he is providing services of these machines to more than 100 small and marginal farmers which helped them in saving a lot of effort, time, and money.
Agriculture Infra Fund (AIF) is a financing facility launched on 8th July 2020 for the creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farm assets. Under this scheme, Rs 1 lakh crore is to be disbursed by the financial year 2025-26 and the interest subvention and credit guarantee assistance will be given till the year 2032-33.
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