The government Monday approved guidelines for Rs 500 crore ‘Operation Greens’ programme to boost production and processing of tomato, onion and potato as part of an objective to check price volatility in these three key kitchen staples.
The programme was announced in the Union Budget 2018-19 with an outlay of Rs 500 crore to stabilise the supply and prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops.
The 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 ‘Operation Greens’ programme was announced to promote farmer producers organisations, agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management.
Objectives of Operation Greens :-
- It include enhancing sales realisation of farmers growing these crops by strengthening production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
- It also seeks price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual use varieties.
- The scheme aims to reduce post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, agro-logistics and 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.
The pattern of assistance will comprise of grants-in-aid at the rate of 50 per cent of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs 50 crores per project. However, in case of FPOs, the grant-in-aid will be at the rate of 70 per cent of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs 50 crore per project.
The eligible organisation for availing financial assistance 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/organisations.