India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the setting up of the Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) worth Rs. 15,000 crore ($2bn).
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Indian smallholder farmer measuring milk. Photo supplied by Professor Ben Hayes UQ QAAFI.

The government has been implementing several schemes for the development of dairy infrastructure, although this funding also covers other animal products such as poultry and meat.

The AHIDF is intended to facilitate incentivization of investments in the establishment of infrastructure for dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure, as well as the establishment of animal feed plants in the private sector.

The eligible beneciaries under the scheme will be Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 companies, private companies and individual entrepreneurs, who would need to contribute 10% of the amount funded. The balance, 90%, would be the loan component to be made available by scheduled banks.

The Government of India will provide 3% interest subvention to those funded. There will be a two-year moratorium period for the principal loan amount and a six-year repayment period thereafter.

The government is also setting up a Credit Guarantee Fund of Rs. 750 crore ($100m).

The government said there is huge potential in investment through private sector, and the AHIDF and the interest subvention scheme for private investors will ensure availability of capital to meet upfront investment required for these projects, and also help enhance overall returns and payback for investors.

Such investments in processing and value addition infrastructure will also promote exports, the government added.

Since, almost 50-60% of the nal value of dairy output in India ows back to farmers, growth in this sector can have signicant direct impact on farmers’ incomes, and lead to the creation of more jobs, the government said.

As U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration seeks to revive its ambitious social spending and climate plan in Congress, environmental groups and the farm industry are at odds over proposed subsidies aimed at offsetting agriculture’s substantial contribution to global warming.

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