The Centre plans to disburse Rs 10,000 crore worth of loans at concessional rates to cooperative societies, farmer-producer organisations (FPOs), start-ups, and others in the current fiscal year under its ambitious Rs 1-trillion fund to create storage and processing infrastructure at the farm-gate level.
Loans up to Rs 2 crore will be provided to entrepreneurs at 3 per cent interest subvention for a period of seven years, according to the Union Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday. The loans will have moratorium on repayment that will vary from six months to two years.
The fund called the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, announced as part of the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Package’ in May by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, got formal Cabinet approval on Wednesday.
The fund, along with the three facilitating Ordinances on freeing agriculture marketing, amending Essential Commodities Act and framework for contract farming, is aimed at providing an ecosystem to private companies to encourage them to invest in storage and warehousing in a big way.