The agriculture sector has proved to be a boon for India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It continues to pump the rural economy and seems to be the least affected during the global health crisis. Taking note of this, the Government has injected the agriculture sector with a much-needed boost of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this would help in creating better storage, modern cold storage chain in villages and many employment opportunities will be created in the village. He said the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund would help farmers make modern facilities of storage in their villages as well. “This modern infrastructure will go a long way in setting up agro-based industries. Under the self-reliant India campaign, a big plan has been made to bring the famous products in every district to the market of the country and the world.”
Siraj Chaudhry, MD and CEO, National Collateral Management Services (NCML) said “Agriculture infrastructure of Rs 1 lakh crore is a welcome step, and I congratulate the Government for rolling out these much-needed steps. Investments in post-harvest part of an Agri-cycle is critical. It will be a significant boost to the Agriculture economy with projects such as cold storage, silos, warehousing, and other infrastructure projects get the required attention. It will also generate many employment opportunities in those local areas.” NCML is a Fairfax company and a leading post-harvest solutions provider.
Union Home Minister, Amit Shah acknowledged that agriculture is the foundation of the Indian economy, and the Modi-government has been striving to strengthen it for the last six years. He said several unprecedented steps had been taken to double the income of farmers and for the development of the agriculture sector. Shah said the agriculture infrastructure fund would accelerate the creation of many infrastructure projects such as cold storage, collection centres, processing units so that the hardworking farmers can get the right value for their produce.
PM Modi also released the sixth instalment of funds of Rs 17,000 crore to 8.5 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme. “I am very satisfied with the transfer of Rs 17,000 crores as PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to the account of 8.5 crore farmer families. The satisfaction is that the goal of this scheme is being achieved.” He highlighted that farmers had received Rs 75,000 crore through this scheme in the last year and a half directly in their bank accounts. “Of this, Rs 22,000 crore was transferred during the lockdown.”