Govt to give 50% subsidy for fruit, vegetable transport to help farmers cut post-harvest loss, avoid distress sale

Govt to give 50% subsidy for fruit, vegetable transport

NEW DELHI: The government has issued guidelines to give 50% subsidy in a fixed timeframe for storing and transporting fruit and vegetables to prevent post-harvest losses and distress sale by farmers when prices fall.

Subsidy will be disbursed if the price in notified production clusters falls below the average of the preceding three years or if it falls more than 15% from last year’s price at the time of harvest. It will also be given if the price falls below the benchmark price for procurement, for a specified period.

“Subsidy support for transport and storage of perishables shall go a long way in ensuring remunerative prices to farmers, reducing wastage and assuring seamless supply of perishables. The scheme guidelines are drafted in a manner that they are more broad based and easy to understand,” said food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Claims will be settled digitally in a time-bound manner, she said.

“The proactive decision to go from tomato, onion and potato (TOP) to all fruits and vegetables was the need of the hour as we are committed to secure the interests of our farmers and to ensure that they don’t face price loss despite COVID restrictions,” she said.

ET had earlier reported that the government will announce the transportation subsidy as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat economic package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May.The ministry will provide the 50% subsidy for, “transportation of eligible crops from surplus production clusters to consumption centers or hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops for a maximum period of three months.” The maximum subsidy amount per applicant will be rupee one crore during the six months period.

Food processors, farmer producer organisations, co-operative societies, individual farmers, licensed commission agents, exporters, state marketing and retail. engaged in processing and marketing of fruits and vegetables can avail of the scheme.

The minimum distance between the production cluster to the consumption centre will be 100 km for food processors, farmers, exporters and FPOs but 250 km for retailers, state marketing and cooperative federations.

Mango, banana, guava, kiwi, litchi, papaya, citrus, pineapple, pomegranate and jackfruit are the fruits which have been approved by the agriculture ministry. In vegetables, French beans, bitter gourd, brinjal, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, green chillies, okra, onion, potato and tomato have been approved.