The Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the creation of a fund for developing farm-markets, which will be used to upgrade existing rural agriculture markets, an official statement said. A corpus of Rs 2,000 crore will be set up at NABARD, an organisation that procures and trades farm items on behalf of government.
The fund, titled “Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF)”, will essentially go into creating better wholesale markets. It was cleared by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It comes at a time the government is trying to boost farm prices, which includes measures to fix the acquisition chain.
According to an official, the AMIF fund will provide states with subsidized loans for vetted proposals for developing marketing infrastructure in 585 agriculture produce market committees or APMCs, which are regulated wholesale markets. Nearly 10,000 new rural haats or markets will also be created on a longer term.
States may also use the fund for “innovative integrated market infrastructure projects” on a public-private partnership mode and also by utilising MGNREGA funds. Loans with discounted interest rates will be given under the scheme up to 2024-25. The scheme was first announced in last year’s budget.