08 August 2023, Chandigarh: Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Department, Haryana, Mr. Sudhir Rajpal emphasized the need for constructing storage facilities at the village level to accommodate 5000 metric tons of grains under the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund.
This step aims to fulfill the grain storage requirements within the state. Additional Chief Secretary, Mr. Rajpal chaired a state-level review meeting of the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund Scheme, where he directed the officers to prioritize the establishment of pack houses for horticulture and vegetable growers and godowns for storage of agricultural products and fertilizers in packs.
He said that, so far, a sum of Rs. 886 crore has been approved for 1119 entrepreneurs of Haryana under the scheme, out of which Rs. 736 crore has already been disbursed to 935 entrepreneurs. The Chief Secretary noted that interested entrepreneurs can apply for this scheme by preparing Detailed Project Reports (DPR) through District-level Implementation Committees.
The Agricultural Infrastructure Fund Scheme supports post-harvest management and the creation of community agricultural assets, offering medium and long-term loans and financial assistance. The Central Government has allocated Rs. 3900 crore for this initiative, with distribution planned by the year 2025-26. The main aim of the fund is to reduce post-harvest losses and to increase farmers’ income.
This scheme provides loans up to Rs. 2 crore for empowering agri-entrepreneurs, start-ups, self-help groups, farmer producer organisations, joint liability groups, primary agricultural credit societies, marketing cooperatives, multi-purpose cooperatives, agricultural produce marketing societies, godowns and silos, cold stores, and cold chains. The government provides up to a 3 percent interest subsidy on these loans.
For the year 2023-24, Rs. 925 crore has been allocated for various structures, out of which Rs. 150 crore has already been disbursed. A unique aspect of this scheme is that beneficiaries can also take advantage of this scheme by taking a grant in any scheme of the central and state government, he added.
The Additional Chief Secretary unveiled posters outlining the objectives and eligible activities of the scheme during the state-level meeting.
Advisor, Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, Mr. Amarjit Mann, Director General, Horticulture Department, Dr. Arjun Saini, Additional Director, Agriculture Dr. Rohtas Singh, Mr. Chandra Mohan Dhiman and many bankers remained present at the state-level meeting.
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