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“Source:- Agri Times”
NEW DELHI : Indian minister for animal husbandry and dairying Giriraj Singh today while launching the implementation guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth INR 15,000 crore said by 2024, country’s milk production is expected to touch 330 million tonnes.

While speaking at the launch, the minister said, “India is producing milk of 188 million tonnes and only 20 percent to 25 percent milk is coming under processing sector and government is trying to bring the same up to 40 percent.”

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development fund (AHIDF), Giriraj Singh said that India is engaged in breed improvement to increase milk production and on the other hand also taking care of the processing sector and informed that the Dairy Processing Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) is being implemented for infrastructure development in cooperative sector and AHIDF is a first type of scheme for private sector.

Millions of farmers will be benefited once the infrastructure is created and more milk will be processed. This will also increase export of dairy products which is presently negligible. India needs to go up to the standards of countries like New Zealand in the Dairy sector, Singh stressed.

Expressing satisfaction that during Covid-19 lockdown, dairy farmers could maintain steady supply of milk to the consumers in the country, the minister said that government has been implementing several schemes for incentivizing the investment made by dairy cooperative sector for development of dairy infrastructure. The AHIDF has been set up as MSMEs and Private companies also need to be promoted and incentivized for their involvement in processing and value addition infrastructure.

AHIDF to facilitate investment in dairy sector

AHIDF would facilitate much needed incentivisation of investments in establishment of such infrastructure for dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure and establishment of animal feed plant in the private sector.

The eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme would be Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneurs with minimum 10 percent margin money contribution by them. The balance 90 percent would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks. Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries. There will be 2 years moratorium period for principal loan amount and 6 years repayment period thereafter.

Government to set up Credit Guarantee Fund

Government of India would also set up Credit Guarantee Fund of INR 750 crore to be managed by National Bank for Agriculture and rural Development (NABARD). Credit guarantee would be provided to those sanctioned projects which are covered under MSME defined ceilings. Guarantee Coverage would be up to 25 percent of Credit facility of borrower.

The beneficiaries intending to invest for establishing dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure or strengthening of the existing infrastructure can apply for loan in the scheduled bank through ‘Udyami Mitra’ portal of SIDBI.

Huge potential for private sector in dairy

There is huge potential waiting to be unlocked in investment through private sector. The INR 15,000 crore AHIDF and the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns/ pay back for investors.

Such investments in processing and value addition infrastructure by eligible beneficiaries would also promote export of these processed and value added commodities.

Since, almost 50 percent to 60 percent of final value of dairy output in India flows back to farmers, therefore, growth in this sector can have significant direct impact on farmer’s income. Size of dairy market and farmers’ realization from milk sales is closely linked with development of organized off-take by cooperative and private dairies.

Fund will provide employment to 35 lakh people

Thus, investment incentivization in AHIDF would not only leverage 7 times private investment but would also motivate farmers to invest more on inputs thereby driving higher productivity leading to increase in farmers’ incomes. The measures approved through AHIDF would also help in direct and indirect livelihood creation for 35 lakh persons.

Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Pratap Chandra Sarangi said that Government has decided to vaccinate 53.5 crore animals and 4 crore animals have already been vaccinated. Breed improvement is taking place through technology intervention.

However, we are lagging behind in processing sector. Using the AHIDF, processing plants can be established for fodder also. This will help in doubling farmers’ incomes and also contribute in achieving Prime Minister’s dream of a USD $ 5 trillion economy.