Agri Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) was announced in 2019 by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs to expand and upgrade agricultural marketing infrastructures in thousands of rural agricultural markets. The Agri Market Infrastructure Fund will reach 22,000 Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), and 585 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC).
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund aims to empower small-scale Rural Haats by offering them infrastructural and financial support. We have shared more details about this fund, its objectives and its significance here.
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - Overview
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund was approved by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. This unique scheme aims to support small-scale Rural Haats upgrade into Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs). The Agri Market initiative also aims to offer digital support to Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) for better support.
Until now, the GrAMs were being supported by the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India through the MGNREGA funds but will now be funded through the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund.
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - Key Details
- The AMIF scheme is focused on providing support to GrAMs by updating their infrastructure, providing electronic support, and linking GrAMs with APMCs.
- The states/union territories will receive relief through the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund on a demand basis.
- States/UTs can also receive a subsidised loan to develop their Agri Market infrastructure. This is only valid for 585 APMCs and 10,000 GrAMs across India.
- States and UTs can also get AMIF support for innovative infrastructure projects.
- NABARD is providing the annual interest subsidy along with the annual budget released for the same during 2018-29 and 2019-20. This subsidy is only valid up to 2024-25.
Why does Agri Market need Support?
In 2018-19, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) first approved an INR. 2,000 crore corpus for the Agriculture Market Infrastructure Fund, which was set up with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to develop and upgrade Agri marketing infrastructure in rural agricultural markets.
Before this, the responsibility of providing support to small-scale Agri Markets was on the shoulders of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India. Here is why the government is helping such markets improve their infrastructure -
- Agri markets need infrastructure assistance and digital upgrade to increase their efficiency and become profitable.
- The government introduced Agri Market Infrastructure Fund to support Rural Haats upgrade into GrAMs.
- Earlier, these small-scale markets were being funded through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
- The Agri Market Infrastructure Fund offers support to GrAMs on a demand basis. In case there is a state demand, the share of the AMIF would be proportional.
- 22,000 Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), and 585 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) can avail the benefit of the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund.
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - Objectives
- The Agri Market Infrastructure Fund will offer states and territories subsidised loans for 585 APMC mandis plus 10,000 GrAMs.
- States can also use this fund to develop new integrated market infrastructure initiatives, such as hub and spoke models and public-private partnerships.
- To enhance marketing and infrastructure networks in APMC's GrAMs and regulated wholesale markets by developing marketing infrastructure to improve farmers' market services and decrease post-harvest losses, marketing costs, and the number of intermediaries in the supply chain, resulting in higher net income for farmers.
- Linking GrAMs to the e-NAM site will allow farmers to trade their aggregated produce online, allowing them to take advantage of fair online dealing on the e-NAM platform for a more remunerative price.
- GrAMs as Farmer-Consumer Direct Marketplace will be developed to give a better farmer-consumer interaction.
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - Significance
The Agri Market Infrastructure Fund is significant because over 86 per cent of Indian farmers are small and marginal, and they cannot always interact directly with APMCs and other distribution companies. Small farmers can increase their holding capacity by using a network of rural godowns to sell their products at remunerative prices and eliminate distress sales.
The Indian government launched the "Grameen Bhandaran Yojana" in 2001, which was later renamed the "Agricultural Marketing Infrastructure Fund scheme" in 2014. The scheme's main goals are to build scientific storage capacity and related facilities in remote regions to suit farmers' diverse needs for keeping agricultural goods, processed agricultural goods, agricultural inputs, etc.
This scheme has been formulated in response to the 2018-19 budgetary announcement in order to provide market facilities closer to the farm gate for farmers to actively sell their products to consumers and potential bulk buyers in the GrAMs and to strengthen and revitalise the advertising and auxiliary facilities in APMC markets in order to improve marketing efficiency.
In response to the Union Budget's announcement in 2018-19 to develop and enhance the current 22,000 Rural Haats, a whole of 10,000 GrAMs are suggested to be covered by the Agriculture Market Infrastructure Fund in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund - How to Apply
Interested farmers can apply for the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund online. The Central government has a dedicated online portal through which farmers can avail of loans under the AMIF. Here are the details about how to apply for the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund -
- Visit the official portal of the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund (www. agriinfra. dac. gov. in).
- Scroll down to the “Beneficiary” tab and click “Registration”.
- As soon as the Registration form appears, fill out the entire form.
- Verify your Aadhaar details by receiving and entering the OTP on your Aadhaar-linked mobile number.
- Once you are registered, you can log in again and apply for loans under the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund.
FAQs on Agri Market Infrastructure Fund
Q.1. What is Agri Market Infrastructure Fund?
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund was announced by the Government of India in the 2018-19 budget to expand and upgrade agricultural marketing infrastructures in the 22,000 Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), and 585 Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC).
Q.2. Who approved Agri Market Infrastructure Fund?
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund Scheme is administered by the Government of India's Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA & FW). Agri Market Infrastructure Fund was introduced by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in 2018-19 budget.
Q.3. What is the purpose of Agri Market Infrastructure Fund?
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund is set up in collaboration with NABARD to construct and upgrade agricultural marketing infrastructures in Gramin Agricultural Marketplace and Regulated Wholesale Markets. It also aims to provide small-scale Agri Markets with financial support.
Q4. How long is the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund valid for?
Agri Market Infrastructure Fund will be valid from 2018-19 to 2024-25, with a two-year moratorium period in between. The Agri Market Infrastructure Fund was introduced by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs in 2018-29 to assist Rural Haats with infrastructural upgradation.
Q5. How to apply for Agri Market Infrastructure Fund?
To apply for the Agri Market Infrastructure Fund, you will first need to check the eligibility criteria for the fund. Once you have done that, you can visit the official AMIF website and follow the given steps -
- Register yourself as a user and verify your account using your Aadhaar details.
- Fill out the complete registration form and submit it.
- Login and browse through the available Agri Market Infrastructure Fund loans.