Operation Greens launched to stablize top crop prices

Operation Greens was announced in the Budget speech of 2018-19 with an outlay of Rs 500 crores to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure their availability throughout the country round the year without price volatility

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New Delhi: The ministry of food processing industries under union minister Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal has approved the operationalisation strategy for ‘Operation Greens’ that was announced earlier in the budget speech of 2018-19.

The programme with an outlay of Rs 500 crores aims to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.

Approving the measures, the Minister said “Price volatility of TOP crops wreaks havoc in the households of this country. This is a revolutionary scheme which has evolved after sustained dialogue with all stakeholders and we have decided the strategy to stabilize prices of TOP crops and to make sure that TOP crops reach all households in the country around the year.” Ms Badal added “Our government has laid down special measures and grants-in-aid under the scheme to ensure enhanced production of TOP crops and to augment value chain”.

The strategy will comprise of a series of measures as decided by the ministry which include:

(I) Short term price stabilization measures

NAFED will be the Nodal Agency to implement price stabilisation measures. Ministry of food processing will provide 50 percent of the subsidy on the two components including transportation of Tomato Onion Potato (TOP) Crops from production to storage and hiring of appropriate storage facilities for TOP Crops.

(II) Long term integrated value chain development project

These include capacity building of FPOs and their consortium; quality production; post-harvest processing facilities; agri-logistics; marketing /consumption points, and creation/management of e-platform for demand and supply management of TOP Crops.

The pattern of assistance will comprise of grants-in-aid at the rate of 50 percent of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs. 50 crores per project. However, in case where PIA is/are FPO(s), the grant-in-aid will be at the rate of 70 percent of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs 50 crores per project.

Eligible Organisation would include State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), cooperatives, companies, Self-help groups, food processors, logistic operators, service providers, supply chain operators, retail and wholesale chains and central and state governments and their entities/organizations will be eligible to participate in the programme and to avail financial assistance.

The applicant fulfilling the eligibility criteria under the scheme is required to submit the online application on SAMPADA portal of the ministry attaching therewith complete documents.

Background of Operation Greens

In the budget speech of 2018-19, a new Scheme “Operation Greens” was announced on the line of “Operation Flood”, with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.

Major objectives of “Operation Greens” include:

♦ Enhancing value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market

♦ Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual use varieties

♦ Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres

♦ Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters

♦ Setting up of a market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops