- Nine months after announcing ‘Operation Green’ to provide the rightful price to farmer producers, the Union government has prepared guidelines to implement the operation. The scheme was devised to contain the annual price distress of tomatoes, onion and potatoes in regions with high production.
- The operation was announced by the Union Finance minister in the budget 2018 speech and claimed that the operation will provide support to horticulture crop growers.
- This scheme aims to transport the vegetables from a surplus region to deficit region of production and also create infrastructures to increase storage processing capacity to increase shelf life.
- The government also decided to create value chains and processing industries in the selected surplus region.
What is Operation Green?
- The Operation Green has short term and long term components. The budget for short term component allocated Rs 50 crore. Under this budget, government will share 50 per cent cost with the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) for transportation and storage facility of TOP produces.
- This means that if the rate of supplying onion is Rs 3/km from Nasik to Delhi, the Centre will share Rs 1.5/km. Currently NAFED supplies around 15,000 tonne of onion from Nasik to Delhi. After using this fund, it can supply up to 0.25 million tonne of onion.
- The long term budget, Rs 450 crore, is meant to develop value chain, cold storage, packaging, sorting, grading and processing industries. The top producing clusters are chosen keeping in mind value chain and processing industries. 17 clusters have been chosen in eight states. Some from Madhya Pradesh have dropped from Madhya Pradesh in view of the upcoming assembly election.
- Farmers group like Farmer Producer Organizations, Farmers Federation, state undertakings or private players will benefit from this scheme as they will get 50 per cent of the total but up to Rs 50 crore. “The government will provide 50 per cent value of total project cost, which either would be setting up of processing industries, cold storage or others,” says a senior official close to the development on the condition of anonymity.
- The committee suggested extra funds can be pooled in from similar schemes like SAMPADA, an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes (Mega Food Parks, Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition Infrastructure, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure, etc) and also new schemes like Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters, Creation of Backward and Forward Linkages, Creation / Expansion of Food Processing & Preservation Capacities.