28 April 2021, New Delhi, IN: Agriculture Infrastructure Fund has crossed the Rs. 8000 crore mark after receiving 8,665 applications worth Rs. 8,216 crores. The largest share of the pie is contributed by Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) (58%), agri-entrepreneurs (24%) and individual farmers (13%). These investments are for a wide range of projects which will unlock value for farmers across the country.
States leading the front are Andhra Pradesh (2,125 applications), Madhya Pradesh (1,830), Uttar Pradesh (1,255), Karnataka (1,071) & Rajasthan (613). While most of these states are leveraging their strong cooperatives network to take the lead, Madhya Pradesh stands out with the highest non-PACS applications. Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will bring together the collective power of all stakeholders in the Agriculture ecosystem.
The Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW) is undertaking a host of initiatives to accelerate on-ground investments. The department has directly reached out to 150+ FPOs and livelihood organisations, along with IFFCO, HAFED, NAFED & others. The department hosted an agribusiness conclave, supported by CII & FICCI, with 90+ agribusiness participants; where key players like Arya CMA, Mahindra Agri, Tata Consumer, IFFCO and Escorts Cropping Solutions gave presentations on their role in building infrastructure under AIF through partnership with farmers, farmer groups and local entrepreneurs.
The department has been regularly conducting reviews of states to monitor progress & promote cross learnings. In addition to it, a state conclave was conducted with 190+ participants from state departments, where Andhra Pradesh demonstrated its PACS led model & Madhya Pradesh demonstrated its local entrepreneurship led model. States have in turn engaged with a large number of farmers and local entrepreneurs.
These initiatives have led to not only an overall increase in applications but an increase in interest in innovative infra types such as custom hiring centers & farm machinery banks (130 applications worth ~25 crores) and infra for smart & precision agriculture (200 applications worth ~1,300 crores). AIF has brought farmers & agribusinesses together with newer partnership models emerging for the creation of distributed infra near farm-gate in a hub & spoke model. The agribusinesses are increasing awareness about AIF & newer agri-tech amongst FPOs and supporting them in application & adoption.
AIF is gaining momentum with all the right initiatives being undertaken to bring together agri-businesses & farmers, promoting cross-learnings across states & undertaking global benchmarking to build world-class agri-infra. AIF has the potential to completely transform the agriculture infrastructure landscape of the country.