To aid farmers Cabinet to launch a new scheme ‘Operation Green’ with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore

Sep 26, 2018
The Cabinet is likely to take on the proposal of launching a new scheme ‘Operation Green’ with a corpus of Rs. 500 crore to aid farmers in times of erratic price fluctuation in tomatoes, onions and potatoes. The Operation Greens aims to promote farmer producers organisations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that another cabinet proposal to set up a non-banking financial company (NBFC) with an initial corpus of Rs. 2,000 crore to meet credit needs of the food processing sector . The proposed NBFC, is in the final stage of the proposal and it will come most probably in next cabinet meeting.
The minister added that the Operation Green or the TOP Scheme is a simple scheme, announced in this year’s Budget, will be implemented on a pilot basis for two years after the Cabinet nod, adding on the fact that the TOP scheme will focus only on three produce tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Three clusters for each produce have already been identified.
The clusters will be linked directly to the markets for which the state governments will be roped in. The subsidy will be given for setting up of storage facility near the consumption centres and the idea is to move the produce to a consumption base during glut and before the prices fall and affect farmers income, she added.
Badal emphasised “We will roll out our own financial institution which will not only lend to food processing sector but will also work in different ways in capacity building, in risk assessment and sensitizing the banks.” 

The 
minister said that the level of food wastage has come down by up to 8 per cent on account of several steps taken over last four years. Mega food parks, backward and forward linkages and clusters are being created under the Rs 6,000 crore Pradhan Mantri SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) Yojana, she said.
Already 15 mega food parks have been set up and are operational. About 280 cold chains are also in place and 60 per cent of them are functioning. 50 more cold chains are expected to be created, the minister said.
“When our food security is under threat, that’s when cold chain and the storage facilities play a crucial role to ensure not only prices stay under control but there is enough food supply despite the erratic climate change,” Badal added.

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