CHANDIGARH–Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh on Thursday launched the Implementation Guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth Rs. 15,000 crores, which was approved by the Union Cabinet on June 24 under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan stimulus package for ensuring growth in several sectors. Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development fund (AHIDF), Giriraj Singh said that India has been engaged in breed improvement to increase milk production and on the other hand also taking care of the processing sector. India is producing milk of 188 million tonnes and by 2024 the milk production was expected to rise up to 330 million tons. Of this, 20-25 percent milk is brought under the processing sector and the government is trying to bring it up to 40 percent.
He also informed that millions of farmers would be benefited once the infrastructure is created and more milk will be processed. This will also increase the 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. He expressed satisfaction that during the Covid-19 lockdown, dairy farmers could maintain a steady supply of milk to the consumers in the country.
Fund 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 would facilitate much-needed incentivization of investments in the establishment of such infrastructure for dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure and establishment of animal feed plants 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 a minimum 10 percent margin money contribution by them. The balance 90 percent would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks. The government of India will provide a 3% interest subvention to eligible beneficiaries. There will be 2 years moratorium period for the principal loan amount and 6 years repayment period thereafter.
The government of India would also set up a Credit Guarantee Fund of Rs. 750 crore to be managed by 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 the Credit facility of the 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 loans in the scheduled bank through the “Udyami Mitra” portal of SIDBI.
There is huge potential waiting to be unlocked in investment through the private sector. The INR 15,000 crore AHIDF and the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure the availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects and also help enhance overall returns/ payback for investors. Such investments in processing and value addition infrastructure by eligible beneficiaries would also promote the export of these processed and value-added commodities.
Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri 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 the processing sector. Using the AHIDF, processing plants can be established for fodder also. This will help in doubling farmers’ incomes and also contribute to achieving the dream of a 5 trillion dollar economy.