- AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
- MADURAI MALLI
AGRICULTURE INFRASTRUCTURE FUND
Focus: GS III- Agriculture
Why in News?
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister gave its approval to the following modifications in Central Sector Scheme of Financing Facility under ‘Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.
- Eligibility has now been extended to State Agencies/APMCs, National & State Federations of Cooperatives, Federations of Farmers Producers Organizations (FPOs) and Federations of Self Help Groups (SHGs).
- At present Interest subvention for a loan upto Rs. 2 crore in one location is eligible under the scheme. In case, one eligible entity puts up projects in different locations then all such projects will be now be eligible for interest subvention for loan upto Rs. 2 crore. However, for a private sector entity there will be a limit of a maximum of 25 such projects. This limitation of 25 projects will not be applicable to state agencies, national and state federations of cooperatives, federations of FPOs and federation of SHGs. Location will mean physical boundary of a village or town having a distinct LGD (Local Government Directory) code. Each of such projects should be in a location having a separate LGD code.
- For APMCs, interest subvention for a loan upto Rs. 2 crore will be provided for each project of different infrastructure types e.g. cold storage, sorting, grading and assaying units, silos, et within the same market yard.
- The power has been delegated to Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare to make necessary changes with regard to addition or deletion of beneficiary in such a manner so that basic spirit of the scheme is not altere
- The period of financial facility has been extended from 4 to 6 years upto 2025-26 and overall period of the scheme has been extended from 10 to 13 upto 2032-33.
About Agriculture Infrastructure Fund:
- It is a central sector scheme.
- It is a part of the over Rs. 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
- Aim: To provide medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management Infrastructure and community farming assets.
- The funds will be provided for setting up of cold stores and chains, warehousing, silos, assaying, grading and packaging units, e-marketing points linked to e-trading platforms and ripening chambers, besides PPP projects for crop aggregation sponsored by central/state/local bodies.
- Duration: Financial Year 2020 to 2029.
- Financial Support: Rs. 1 Lakh Crore will be provided by banks and financial institutions as loans to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), Marketing Cooperative Societies, Farmer Producers Organizations (FPOs), Self Help Group (SHG), Farmers, Joint Liability Groups (JLG), Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs and Central/State agencies or Local Bodies sponsored by Public Private Partnership Projects.
- Loans will be disbursed in four years starting with sanction of Rs. 10,000 crore in the current year and Rs. 30,000 crore each in next three financial years.
- Moratorium for repayment may vary subject to minimum of 6 months and maximum of 2 years.
- Interest Subvention: Loans will have interest subvention of 3% per annum up to a limit of Rs. 2 crore. This subvention will be available for a maximum period of seven years.
- Farmer Producer Organizations: In case of FPOs the credit guarantee may be availed from the facility created under FPO promotion scheme.
- Management: The fund will be managed and monitored through an online Management Information System (MIS) platform. It will enable all the qualified entities to apply for loan under the Fund.
- The National, State and District level monitoring committees will be set up to ensure real-time monitoring and effective feed-back.
Focus: GS III- Geographical Indications
Why in News?
For ensuring that Indians living abroad get supplies of fresh flowers to deities at home and temples, consignments of Geographical Indications (GI) certified Madurai malli and other traditional flowers such as button rose, lily, chamanthi and marigold were exported today to USA and Dubai from Tamil Nadu.
- Jasmine (Jasminum Officinale) is one of the most popular flowers found across the world.
- The scent of Jasmine is synonymous with the splendor of Madurai’s Meenakshi temple, Madurai has emerged as a major market for the malligai grown inits neighbourhood, and has evolved into the ‘jasmine capital’ of India.
- During 2020-2021, fresh cut flowers jasmine flowers and bouquets (comprising of jasmine and other traditional flowers) valued at Rs 66.28 crores were exported to countries like USA,UAE, Singapore, etc. Out of which, value of Rs.11.84 crores were exported from Tamil Nadu region through major airports of Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai.
About GI Tag
- Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.
- Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.
- Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- GI is also governed by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003, this tag is issued by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DIPIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
- The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
- It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.
- The Geographical Indications Registry would be located at Chennai.
- Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
- Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.
- Karnataka has the highest number of GI tags i.e. 47 products followed by Tamil Nadu (39).