New Delhi: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced that Operation Green -- a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers are given the right price for their produce -- will be expanded to cover all fruits and vegetables from just the tomatoes, onions and potatoes as of now. This will be done with an additional allocation of ₹500 crore.
The scheme will have a 50% subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets and 50% subsidy on storage, including cold storage. It is to be a pilot project for six months and then extended thereafter, she said. The minister was announcing measures in the ₹20 lakh crore stimulus package announced by the prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to kick start the economy that has been in a stringent lockdown since 25 March.
According to Sitharaman, “many of the supply chains had been disrupted for farmers during the lockdown. Operation Greens is scheme that already running to take care of tomatoes, onions and potatoes that are being cultivated to feed the cities and they had very serious implication because they were perishable and they had have to distress sale. So, farm level support needs to be given."
“The scheme features are such that they get 50% subsidy on transportation and they get 50% subsidy on storage," she said.
Operation Greens was unveiled in 2018 and it aims to promote farmer producers organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management of agri-produce. It focuses on organized marketing of tomatoes, onions and potatoes by connecting farmers with consumers. State agriculture and other marketing federations, farmer producer organizations, cooperatives, companies, self-help groups and food processors can avail the financial assistance under it. It also aims for price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the tomato, opinion and potato clusters besides reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure.