FM Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday, said the govt will create a fund amounting to Rs. 1 lakh crores to strengthen the farm.

The third segment of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package that was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat the impact of corona virus focuses on the agriculture sector and its allied activities. It also includes certain crucial amendments to get rid of restrictions on the sale of certain agricultural produce.

Listing out the alternatives taken by the govt., Union minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday, said the govt will create a fund amounting to Rs. 1 lakh crores to strengthen the farm gate infrastructure.

This fund will specialize in creation of agricultural infrastructure like cold storage chains, post harvest management, warehouses. The government expects entrepreneurs and even startups to assist create infrastructure which enable faster movement of agriculture produce and cause value addition of the products.

According to the minister of finance, all the measures taken by the govt within the economic package is aimed toward empowering people to make production capacities and generate jobs. The FM also announced a Rs 10,000 crore fund which can specialize in the micro-sized food enterprises to extend the assembly, marketing, and branding of these agricultural output which are specific to a certain region.

The fund will specialize in the cluster-based agricultural activities like, for instance, makhana production in Bihar, ragi in Karnataka, kesar in Kashmir, bamboo within the North-East etc.

According to the minister of Finance, this fund is predicted to profit over two lakh micro food enterprises and it'll strengthen the brand of such agricultural clusters. In order to spice up the marine and inland fisheries activities within the country, the govt will provide numerous incentives with the aim that there would be additional 70 lakh tonnes of additional fish production.

The government also plans to market herbal plants focused agriculture and has allocated Rs 4,000 crore. According to the minister of Finance, this is often expected to get Rs. 5,000 crores of income for the farmers. The government has also allocated Rs. 500 crores towards bee keeping.

Reforms in agri trade the minister of finance said an existing scheme to supply support for farmers in engaged within the production of tomato, onion, and potatoes are going to be given additional fund to assist in transportation and storage of those produce.

The Essential Commodities Act, which was introduced in 1955 to stop hoarding and ensure food security, will now be amended to make sure that the trading in cereals, edible pulses, onion, and potato will be completely liberalized.

The minister of finance said unless it's a case of emergency, under the amended regulations, there'll be no requirement of storing certain stock of those horticultural produce. This is expected to make a free movement of those produce and provides farmers the selection to sell them to anybody.

The government also plans to bring back certain new laws which can enable inter-state movement of agricultural produce and supply the choice of e-trade for the farmers. Besides, there also are plans to make a mechanism to make certain predictable prices for agricultural produce.

Edited by Dhivya A

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