Saturday, September 30, 2023

Punjab

Punjab's success with Agriculture Infrastructure Fund scheme continues: Chetan Singh Jauramajra

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | September 19, 2023 04:43 PM

CHANDIGARH: Once again, Punjab's farmers and agri-entrepreneurs have demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit by enthusiastically embracing the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) Scheme, aimed at establishing various post-harvest management projects and community farming assets. Impressively, the state has received over 10, 000 applications under this scheme so far.

While sharing the latest figure, Horticulture Minister S. Chetan said that as of September 18, Punjab has received a total of 10, 509 applications, of which 6, 042 applications have already been sanctioned and 5, 166 applications have been disbursed. He said that Punjab has maintained its position as the second-highest state in terms of applications sanctioned under the scheme. Notably, three districts have each surpassed 1, 000 applications, namely Bathinda (1, 286), Fazilka (1, 158) and Patiala (1, 087).

The Horticulture Minister maintained that the AIF scheme provides 3% interest assistance for up to 7 years on term loans for eligible activities, with a maximum interest rate set at 9%. Beneficiaries can avail this benefit for amounts up to Rs.2 crores and each beneficiary can establish up to 25 projects at different locations.

S. Chetan Singh Jauramajra informed that the eligible projects include Storage Infrastructure (Warehouses, Silos, Cold Stores, Cold Rooms etc.), Primary Processing Centers (Atta Chakki, Dal Mill, Oil Expeller, Rice Sheller, Spice Processing, Gur Making etc.), Sorting and Grading units, Packhouses, Ripening Chambers, Farm Machinery (minimum of 4 units), Combine Harvesters, Boom Sprayers, Balers, Cotton Ginning, Honey Processing, Silk Processing, Nurseries, Seed Processing, Vermicompost, Compressed Biogas Plants etc. He said that certain projects such as Mushroom Farming, Aeroponics, Hydroponics, Polyhouses, Greenhouses etc., can also be established by farmer groups.

The Cabinet Minister said that solar panels on eligible projects and solar pumps can also be set up under this scheme. He said that the Department of Horticulture, which serves as the nodal agency for implementing the scheme in Punjab, has also set up a WhatsApp helpline No. 9056092906 to assist with inquiries related to the scheme.

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