What are the main objectives behind the ₹1 lakh crore farm infra fund to be financed by NABARD? Discuss.
With supply chain disruptions during COVID-19 revealing critical gaps in agricultural infrastructure and logistics systems, the Finance Minister has announced plans for a ₹1 lakh crore farm infrastructure fund as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan stimulus package.
The third tranche of the stimulus package also included plans to strengthen infrastructure in food processing, fisheries, animal husbandry, horticulture, herbal cultivation and beekeeping with a total funding of ₹50,000 crore, including funds allocated earlier in the budget.
The ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will be financed and managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Financing will be provided to primary agriculture cooperative societies, farmer producer organisations, agriculture entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop cold chain storage and other post-harvest management infrastructure at the farm gate and aggregation points.
There is a plan for a ₹10,000 crore scheme to support two lakh micro-food processing enterprises, providing technical support to reach FSSAI health and safety standards, build brands and marketing.
The National Medicinal Plants Board will spend ₹4,000 crore on herbal cultivation over 10 lakh hectares with a special focus on an 800 hectare corridor of medicinal plants on the banks of the Ganga.