Why in news?
Making long-pending agricultural marketing reforms as the centerpiece – The Third tranche of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan economic stimulus package, was announced by Union Finance Minister, on 15th May 2020.
Highlights of the Third Tranche
- Enacting a central law to permit barrier-free inter-State trade of farm commodities.
- Ensuring a legal framework to facilitate contract farming.
- With supply chain disruptions during COVID-19 revealing critical gaps in agricultural infrastructure and logistics systems, Finance Minister announced plans for a Rs. 1 lakh crore farm infrastructure fund.
- The third tranche also included plans to invest Rs. 1.5 lakh crore to build farm-gate infrastructure and support logistics needs for fish workers, livestock farmers, vegetable growers, beekeepers and related activities, although this includes some previously budgeted money and extensions of existing schemes.
- The Centre will deregulate the sale of six types of agricultural produce, including cereals, edible oils, oilseeds, pulses, onions and potatoes, by amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
Financing by NABARD for the Agricultural Infrastructure Fund
The ₹1 lakh crore Agriculture Infrastructure Fund will be financed and managed by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Financing will be provided to primary agriculture cooperative societies, farmer producer organisations, agriculture entrepreneurs and start-ups to develop cold chain storage and other post-harvest management infrastructure at the farm gate and aggregation points.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
- NABARD is a development bank focussing primarily on the rural sector of the country.
- It is a statutory body established in 1982 under Parliamentary act; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Act, 1981.
- NABARD is the Apex banking institution to provide finance for Agriculture and rural development which is Headquartered at Mumbai.
- It is responsible for the development of the small industries, cottage industries, and any other such village or rural projects.
-Source: The Hindu