FMCG majors ITC and Dabur welcomed the third tranche of economic stimulus package worth Rs 1.63 lakh crore announced by the government for farm and allied sectors, saying it would empower farmers, strengthen agri-food processing linkages and enable demand-driven value added agriculture.
According to a PTI report: The investments in farm-gate infrastructure would help to reduce food wastage in the country and also ensure availability of quality local produce for food processing companies, besides generating employment.
“It is heartening to see the reforms announced for the agri sector that provides livelihoods to about half of India’s workforce. Amendments to the ECA (Essential Commodities Act), reforms in agri marketing and risk mitigation through predictable prices will empower farmers, strengthen agri-food processing linkages and enable demand-driven value added agriculture,” ITC Chairman Sanjiv Puri said in a statement.
He further said, “The reforms will encourage investments in food processing and together with the infrastructure outlays will contribute in shaping a competitive agri value chain, reduce wastages and raise farmer incomes.”
Echoing views, home-grown FMCG firm Dabur said the support is aimed at empowering farmers and driving long-term growth through creation of infrastructure to support the agri-industry.
“The investments in farm-gate infrastructure would go a long way in reducing food wastage in the country and also ensure availability of quality local produce for food processing companies, besides generating employment,” Mohit Malhotra, CEO, Dabur India was quoted by PTI as saying.
Promoting cultivation of medicinal plants is a big positive and will help the ayurvedic products and medicines manufacturers by ensuring availability of key raw material, he added
“Encouraging more farmers to enter this field will ensure a steady increase in the population of native herbs, besides boosting farmer income. The formation of Beekeeping Infrastructure Development Fund is another step in the right direction,” Malhotra was further quoted by PTI as saying.
Announcing the third tranche of an overall package of Rs 20 lakh crore to deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced a Rs 1 lakh crore Agri Infrastructure Fund that will finance projects at farm-gate and aggregation point for efficient post-harvest management of crops.
Besides, schemes for micro food enterprises, cattle vaccination, dairy sector, herbal plantation, beekeeping, and fruits and vegetables were also announced.
Sitharaman also announced Rs 10,000 crore fund to support 2 lakh micro food enterprises (MFEs) for promoting health and wellness, herbal, organic and nutritional products.
The government will also launch a Rs 20,000 crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for the development of marine and inland fisheries.
Of this, Rs 11,000 crore will be earmarked for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture while Rs 9,000 crore for infrastructure creation such as fishing harbours, cold chain and markets.