Centre approves ₹15,225 crore credit for over 20,000 agri-infra projects


The Centre has approved ₹15,225 crore credit for over 20,000 projects so far, under Agriculture Infra Fund (AIF), but the disbursal rate (against sanctioned loan) by co-operatives is less than 15 per cent whereas it is near 80 per cent in case of banks.

The AIF, launched in July 2020 for creation of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farm assets, has so far received 46,384 proposals seeking credit for ₹27,452 crore since its rollout, according to official data. The total disbursal of credit so far stands at ₹9,942 crore, which is 65 per cent of the sanctioned amount.

The co-operative banks have disbursed ₹407 crore loans out of ₹3,044 crore approved whereas the banks (both public and private) have disbursed ₹9,535 crore out of ₹12,181 crore sanctioned. Under AIF scheme, the government has set a target of ₹1 lakh crore credit disbursal by 2025-26 and the interest subvention and credit guarantee assistance until 2032-33.

Within two-and-a-half years of the implementation of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), the scheme has mobilised more than ₹30,000 crore for projects in the agriculture infrastructure sector with a sanctioned amount of ₹15,000 crore under AIF.

With support of 3 per cent interest subsidy and credit guarantee support through CGTMSE for loan of up to ₹2 crore, AIF is providing all-round financial support to the farmers, agri-entrepreneurs, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) and many others to create post-harvest management infrastructure and build community farming asset throughout the country, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement.

Yogesh CB from Mandya district of Karnataka is one such agripreneur who applied for a loan of ₹1.9 crore on AIF portal, and received the approval at 5.45 per cent effective interest after subsidy. He has now set up Ariant Veg Private Limited that supports more than 250 local farmers by providing them seeds and the technology to grow quality vegetables. It also collects the yield from the farmers for cleaning, sorting, grading and packing in the infrastructure developed from AIF credit, the ministry said.

Availing AIF credit, Anand Patel, a farmer from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh has set up a hi-tech hub, where agriculture machineries are provided for rent to over 100 local farmers, the ministry said, adding entrepreneurs like Patel and Yogesh are among those 20,624 beneficiaries of AIF who are the real faces of the transformation taking place in the farm sector.

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