Government of India does not provide loans for setting up of cold storage under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH). However, Government is implementing the following schemes under which financial assistance is provided for setting up of cold storages throughout the country, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare is implementing Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) under which financial assistance is provided for various horticulture activities including setting up of cold storages. The component is demand/entrepreneur-driven for which Government assistance in the form of credit linked back-ended subsidy is available at the rate of 35 per cent of the project cost in general areas and at the rate of 50 per cent of the project cost in hilly and scheduled areas, the minister said.
Besides, National Horticulture Board (NHB) is implementing a scheme namely ‘Capital Investment Subsidy for Construction, Expansion and or Modernization of Cold Storages and Storages for Horticulture Products’. Under the scheme, credit linked back-ended subsidy at the rate of 35 per cent of the capital cost of the project in general areas and 50 per cent in case of northeast, hilly and scheduled areas for construction, expansion and or modernisation of cold storage and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of capacity above 5000 MT and up to 10,000 MT is available. In the case of the northeast region, the units with a capacity above 1000 MT are also eligible for assistance, Tomar further said.
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Further, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) is implementing a scheme for Integrated Cold Chain, Value Addition and Preservation Infrastructure as one of the components of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana with the objective of reducing post-harvest losses of horticulture and non-horticulture produce and providing remunerative price to farmers for their produce. Under the scheme, the ministry provides financial assistance in the form of grant-in-aid at the rate of 35 per cent for general areas and 50 per cent for the northeast and Himalayan states, ITDP areas and islands for storage and transport infrastructure and at the rate of 50 per cent and 75 per cent respectively for value addition and processing infrastructure subject to a maximum grant-in-aid of Rs. 10 crores per project for setting up integrated cold chain projects including irradiation facility. The integrated cold chain and preservation infrastructure can be set up by individuals, groups of entrepreneurs, cooperative societies, self-help groups (SHGs), farmer producer organisations (FPOs), NGOs and Central and state PSUs, the agriculture minister further informed the upper house of Indian parliament.
As an inbuilt provision under these schemes, higher rates of subsidy have been envisaged for taking up activities like the creation of infrastructure for post-harvest management including setting of cold storage in scheduled areas.
Further, to strengthen agriculture infrastructure in the country, the Government has launched the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) of Rs. 100,000 crore. Under AIF, there is provision for collateral-free term loan upto Rs. 2 crore and interest subvention of 3 per cent on the term loan availed for creation of post-harvest infrastructure including setting up of cold storages, the minister said.