The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) is a new scheme launched by the Indian government to provide financing for investment in projects related to post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets. The fund will provide interest subvention and credit guarantee to eligible agri-entrepreneurs and Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
All About AIF
The AIF is part of the larger Agri Infrastructure Loan Scheme which has been devised by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare. The overall objective of the scheme is to promote investments in agriculture infrastructure so as to improve farmers’ access to modern facilities and services. In addition, the scheme will help create employment opportunities in the rural sector.
Eligible projects under the AIF include those related to storage, warehousing, cold chain, processing and marketing of agricultural products. In order to be eligible for financing under the scheme, projects must have a minimum investment size of Rs. 10 crore. Moreover, you can avail the maximum loan amount till Rs. 1 crore.
Applications for financing under the AIF can be made to any of the participating financial institutions, which include banks, NBFCs, and MFIs. The list of eligible financial institutions is available on the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare website.
The AIF is also expected to provide a boost to the agricultural sector by promoting investments in modern infrastructure. This will not only benefit farmers but also lead to increased employment opportunities in the rural areas.
Benefits & Duration of Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
The scheme will benefit farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, Agri entrepreneurs, and startups. Some of the key benefits of the scheme are:
– Farmers: The AIF will help farmers by providing them with access to better infrastructure facilities such as storage facilities, cold storage units, refrigerated trucks, etc. This will enable them to store their produce for longer periods of time and sell it when prices are higher. Moreover, the AIF will also provide financial assistance for the construction of farmhouses, boundary walls, etc.
– FPOs, PACS & Marketing Cooperative Societies: The AIF will provide financial assistance for the establishment and upgradation of existing FPOs, PACS & Marketing Cooperative Societies. This will also help these organizations to improve their infrastructure and services, and thereby benefit farmers associated with them.
– Agri entrepreneurs and startups: With a dedicated source of funding, entrepreneurs will push for innovation in the agriculture sector by leveraging new-age technologies including IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence), etc. In addition, the AIF will improve avenues for collaboration between entrepreneurs and farmers.
– Duration of the scheme: The duration of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme shall be from the current financial year to the Financial year 2029 (10 years).
Thus, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a scheme with wide-ranging benefits for all stakeholders involved in the agriculture sector. With a dedicated source of funding, the scheme will help farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, agri entrepreneurs and startups. In addition, the scheme will also promote innovation in the agriculture sector by leveraging new-age technologies.
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