15 May 2020, 05:25 pm By Neha Sinha
Finance Minister's third Conference on 20L Crore Package- Announcements for Agricultural & Allied Services sector

In her third consecutive press conference, Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said that today's announcements will focus on agriculture and allied activities. Sitharaman said 'I will be announcing 11 measures today, of which 8 of them relate to strengthening infrastructure, capacities and building better logistics, while the rest 3 will pertain to governance and administrative reforms, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. With several new announcements, FM elaborated additional steps for agriculture & allied sectors, during COVID19 pandemic.

Here are Finance Minister's Announcements

A central law will be formulated to provide adequate choices to the farmers to sell produce at an attractive price, barrier-free interstate trade and framework for e-trading of agricultural produce.

A facilitative legal framework will be created to enable farmers for engaging with processors, aggregators, large retailers, exporters in a fair and transparent manner.

Government to amend the Essential Commodities Act to enable better price realisation for farmers; agriculture products including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions, and potatoes to be de-regulated 

Operation Greens to be extended from Tomatoes, Onions and Potatoes (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables (TOTAL).

Govt to implement a Rs 500 crore scheme of infrastructure development related to integrated beekeeping development centres, collection, marketing & storage centres, post-harvest and value addition facilities; this will lead to an increase in income of 2 lakh bee-keepers.

FM Conference on agricultural sector highlights

FM Conference on agricultural sector highlights

National Medicinal Plants Board will bring 800-hectare area by developing a corridor of medicinal plants along the banks of river Ganga, said FM Sitharama

Rs 4000 crore allocated for promotion of herbal cultivation; 10,00,000 hectare will be covered in the next 2 years.

Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 crores will be set up.

National Animal Disease Control Programme for Foot and Mouth Disease and Brucellosis launched with a total outlay of Rs 13,343 cr.

All COVID19 related deadline extensions relating to fisheries activities, many of them involving overseas contracts, have been honoured. Very many measures which will help marine and coastal farmers have been undertaken as promised. 

Govt to launch the Rs 20,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for development of marine and inland fisheries. 55 lakh people expected to get employment from this program

Government introduces a Rs 10,000 crores scheme for the formalisation of Micro Food Enterprises (MFE); the scheme promotes PM's vision of 'Vocal for Local with global outreach. 

Government to immediately create a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri-Infrastructure Fund for farm gate infrastructure for farmers.

During COVID lockdown period, the demand for milk reduced by 20-25%. A new scheme to provide interest subvention at 2% per annum to dairy cooperatives for  2020-21. The scheme will unlock Rs 5000 cr additional liquidity, a benefit to 2 cr farmers.

During lockdown period Minimum Support Price purchases of amount more than Rs 74,300 crores; PM Kisan fund transfer of Rs 18700 crores.

Should Read: In Case You Missed it, Here are top 10 Highlights of Package