Agri Business

Cabinet okays ₹15,000 crore animal husbandry infrastructure fund

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 24, 2020 Published on June 24, 2020

The government on Wednesday announced the setting up of a ₹15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF), which will primarily be used to promote private participation in the dairy and animal husbandry sector.

The decision taken at Wednesday’s Union Cabinet meeting will benefit farmer-producer organisations, micro small and medium enterprises, Section 8 companies, private firms and individual entrepreneurs. The fund will be used to incentivise infrastructure investments in the diary, meat processing and animal feeds sectors, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Giriraj Singh told reporters.

The fund is part of the ₹53,000 crore package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package earlier.

Explaining it further, Singh said private enterprises working towards creating infrastructure would need to put in only 10 per cent of their funds with banks extending loans up to 90 per cent.

He said the government would provide an interest subvention of 4 per cent to entrepreneurs from aspirational districts, while those from other districts will get an interest subsidy of 3 per cent on timely repayment. There will be a two-year moratorium on loan repayment with a loan repayment period of six years subsequently. The government will also set up a credit guarantee fund of ₹750 crore to provide credit gurantees to these projects. They can get a guarantee coverage of up to 25 per cent of the credit facility from this fund, which will be managed by Nabard.

The Minister said the companies interested in tapping this opportunity can explore business opportunities in specialty cheese making, creating infrastructure to store animal feed and expand operations for meat processing, for which there is a huge demand in other countries. He said his ministry is working closely with APEDA to explore export markets for organic meat and organic eggs.

Since 50 to 60 per cent of the final value of dairy output flows back to farmers, the growth of the animal husbandry sector can immensely enhance farmer incomes, Singh said, adding that the decision will create 35 lakh direct and indirect livelihood opportunities.

Published on June 24, 2020
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