Infrastructure is essential in agriculture at every stage, including input delivery, crop seeding, and post-harvest management. Planned investment in farm infrastructure is critical to increasing productivity and reducing post-harvest losses; this will also result in capacity development and increased revenue creation.
Post-harvest losses in India are significantly greater due to a lack of essential agricultural infrastructure such as storage houses, pack houses, and a lack of a good supply chain, among other things.
Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
The Government of India has developed a Central Sector Scheme of financing facility under the 'Agriculture Infrastructure Fund,' which was launched on August 9, 2020, by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India, for the creation of required pre and post-harvest management infrastructures in the agriculture sector.
The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund seeks to provide a medium/long-term debt financing facility through 2025-2026 by offering a 3% interest subvention and credit guarantee assistance on loans for the development of post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets. Agri Infra Fund-eligible community agricultural assets include
organic inputs production; and
biostimulant production units.
Smart and precision agricultural infrastructure.
Projects for establishing supply chain infrastructure for agricultural clusters, including export clusters, have been identified.
PPP initiatives are advocated by Central/State/Local Governments or their agencies for the development of community agricultural assets or post-harvest management programs.
In addition to the aforementioned community farming assets, farmer communities such as PACS, FPOs, SHGs, Multipurpose Co-op societies, Marketing Co-op societies, and their federations are eligible for Agri Infra Fund benefits for the establishment of the following post-harvest management infrastructures: (i)Supply chain services, including e-marketing platforms; (ii) Warehouses; (iii) Silos; (iv) Pack houses; (v) Assaying units; (vi) Sorting and grading units; (vii) Cold chains; (viii) Logistics facilities, and (ix) Ripening Chambers.
Supply chain management is critical to maintaining company expenses as low as possible and profits as high as possible.
India is a surplus producer of various agricultural goods. However, due to a lack of investment in cold storage, warehouses, processing facilities, and exports, the country's farmers do not get remunerative rates. In a nation where agriculture provides a living for the majority of the population, it is critical to invest extensively in storage and warehousing facilities.
Cold storage facilities are essential in the post-harvest storage and distribution of perishable commodities and food items. It enables the transportation of perishable agricultural items such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, milk, and milk-based products from production to consumption centers.
In advanced nations, where more than 90% of perishable agricultural and food items pass through broad integrated cold chains, post-harvest losses in terms of quality or value are low. The bulk of perishable agricultural produce and food goods in developing nations, such as India, suffer from significant levels of post-harvest losses owing to inadequate cold storage and cold chains.