Rs 500 crore allocated for‘Operation Greens’ Mission – TOP Scheme to Control Prices of Tomato, Onion & Potato

Published Date - 14 February 2018 11:54:11 Updated Date - 14 February 2018 11:55:28

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech, has announced Operation Green on the lines of Operation Flood for enhancing the production of tomato, onion and potatoes. A sum of Rs 500 crore has been allocated for this new measure.

Jaitley also announced that for the forthcoming Kharif season, the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops will be 1.5 times the cost incurred by farmers. This will help increase farmers' income.

He also said that 470 Agriculture Produce Market' Committee (APMC) promoted markets would be connected to the e-nam market platform, and 22,000 Gramin agriculture markets will also be developed.

Central government  is going to launch Operation Greens Mission as per the announcement in Union Budget 2018-19. Subsequently, TOP Scheme will promote processing of tomato, onion and potato and boost the supplies of these veggies. Accordingly, this operation will enable govt. to control the prices of tomato, onion and potato even in the period of scarcity / lean period. For this operation green, central govt. has allotted Rs. 500 crore in its annual budget.

Central govt. will discuss the contours of this new scheme with various stakeholders in the last week of February. Moreover, govt. can also provide incentives to the farmers to boost the production of these 3 veggies under TOP Scheme.

Accordingly, central govt. will compress the supply chains and will focus on creating infrastructure to naturally preserve TOP.

Operation Greens Mission – Details

The important features and highlights of this TOP Scheme are as follows:-

  • Food Processing Ministry is making every possible effort to finalize the contours of Operation Greens as soon as possible.
  • Subsequently, govt. will promote TOP processing and will also incentivise production of Tomato, Onion and Potato.
  • For this reason, govt. will compress the supply chains and also provide an appropriate climate infrastructure for natural preservation of TOP. Central govt. has also earmarked Rs. 5 billion for this TOP Scheme.
  • Under this scheme, various Farmers Producers Organisations (FPOs), agri-logistics processing facilities and professional management will get encouraged.
 

Operation Greens will benefit the farmers to get appropriate prices for their crops. In addition to this, TOP scheme will also benefit people to get Tomato, Onion and Potato at reasonable prices.

Populist measures

Agriculture expert, Jagadish Sunkad, said that the Finance Minister has announced a lot of populist measures for agriculture, therefore the fineprint of the budget is awaited for understanding the true impact of the measures. Linking of MSP with the cost of cultivation is unusual measure as the cost of cultivation of crops varies across the country. How this linkage would be executed is a atter of wait and watch, he said.

Sunkad, who has been a consultant with ADB said that linking of e-nam market platform with APMCs is a farce as no data on the performance of the market platform has been disclosed. On the other hand, farmers are still selling their produce through commission agents.

The budget has also increased the credit to agriculture sector from Rs 10 lakh crore to Rs 11 lakh crore. But the farmers of the country are already reeling under past debts. Are the farmers in a position to take new debts? he asked.

Operation Greens – Implementation

J P Meena, Food Processing Secretary announced that the key features of this TOP Scheme are most likely to get ready till April 2018. For the successful implementation of this scheme, central govt. has already mapped the vegetable clusters across the country.

Moreover, govt. will work out on backward and forward linkages for FPOs to enable them to take advantage of this scheme. Central govt. has launched ‘Operation Greens’ on the same lines of ‘Operation Flood’. Operation Flood was launched in 1966 and was the biggest diary development program of the central govt.

 


Prakash Chandra Agraeal

27-02-2018

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