Last Friday, Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that Operation Green will be expanded with an additional fund of Rs 5 bln (€60 mln). It will now also encompass not just tomatoes, onions and potatoes, but all fruits and vegetables.
The scheme will feature a 50% subsidy on transportation from surplus to deficient markets and 50% subsidy on storage, including cold storage. It will be piloted for six months and expanded and extended thereafter. It looks at bringing better price realisation to farmers, reduce wastage and affordability of products for consumers.
Supply chains have been disrupted during the lockdown for the coronavirus disease and farmers have not been able to sell their produce in the markets. Farmers have even had to go for distress sale and reduce the price of perishable fruits and vegetables at the farm level.
Nirmala Sitharaman was announcing the details of the Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, vowing to make the country self-reliant. She said that agriculture and allied activities will be the focus of the third tranche of the economic package to combat the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the country.