50% subsidy on transport of onion, potato, tomato

New Delhi: Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Monday announced 50% subsidy to NAFED for transport of tomato, onion and potato from farms to storage and 70% grant-in-aid to the farmer organisations to build cold chain storage.

She called it “Operation Greens” to cover TOP (tomato, onion & potato) crops whose price volatility wreaks havoc on the households, noting that the scheme she was unveiling at the press conference is to ensure their availability throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

NAFED, which has been declared the nodal agency for handling these three most perishable crops, will also get 50% subsidy for hiring the storage facility as a short-term price stabilisation measure. In the long-term measures, the minister announced capacity building of storage, post-harvest facilities and reaching the crops to marketing/consumpsion points.

Farmer organisations will get 70% of cost while it will be 50% in case of state agriculture and marketing federations, cooperatives, companies, self-help groups, food processors, service providers, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and entities of Centre and state governments. In both cases, the minister put a ceiling of Rs 50 crore on the subsidy per project. Online applications are to be submitted for this subsidy to the SAMPADA portal of the ministry sampada.gov.in, the minister said.

Her ministry has also identified the production districts where the subsidy will be available. They includes seven tomato-producing districts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha and Gujarat (Sabarkantha). In case of onions, six districts in four states are identified, namely Nashik in Maharashtra, Bhavnagar and Amreli in Gujarat, Gadag and Dharwad and Nalanda in Bihar. Onion is Rabi crop in Nashik and Kharif crop in the two districts of Karnataka.

For potatoes, 11 districts are identified in four states, six of them in Uttar Pradesh alone as also Banaskantha and Sabarkantha in Gujarat and Nalanda in Bihar.The list will be further modified after the Model Code of Conduct imposed by the Election Commission in five states undergoing Assembly polls is lifted, the minister said.

The “Operation Greens” on the line of “Operation Floods” with an outlay of Rs 500 crore was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech of 2018-19, Badal said, noting that she was declaring the modus operandi for its scheme to ensure enhanced production of the TOP crops and to augment value chain.

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