NEW DELHI, Aug 9 - Asserting that the government�s agri-reforms are focussed on empowering small farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore under the Agri-Infra Fund that will help create post-harvest infrastructure in villages and generate jobs.
He also said the country does not face problems in farm production but in post-harvest losses, and therefore efforts are being made to strengthen post-harvest infrastructure facilities and ensure better income for farmers.
Legal hurdles are being removed and major push for agri-reforms are being given to encourage investment in rural India for creating post-harvest linkages, he added.
Modi launched the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund through a video conference on the auspicious occasion of �Balram Jayanti�, a day when farmers worship plough. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and farmers from some states also participated in the video conference.
�On this auspicious occasion, a special fund of Rs 1 lakh crore has been launched to create agriculture-related infrastructure facilities in the country. This will help in creating better storage facilities and modern cold storage chains in villages. Many employment opportunities will get created in villages,� Modi said after the launch.
The Prime Minister reiterated that India has a huge opportunity to invest in post-harvest management solutions like warehousing, cold chain and food processing, and build a global presence in areas such as organic and fortified foods.
He also mentioned that this scheme provides a good opportunity for startups in agriculture to avail the benefits and scale their operations, thereby creating an ecosystem that reaches farmers in every corner of the country.
Under the Agri-Infra Fund, about Rs 1 lakh crore will be sanctioned under the financing facility in partnership with multiple lending institutions as loans to PACS, farmer groups, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), agri-entrepreneurs, startups and agri-tech players. � PTI