Operation Greens: An Overview and it's TOP to TOTAL Scheme
When the Budget 2018-19 was presented in Parliament, the Finance Minister announced ‘Operation Greens’ on the lines of ‘Operation Flood’ which was a major success in India. The Operation is being handled under the supervision of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and it aims to promote FPO (Farmer Producers Organisations), processing plants, agro-logistics and professional management of agricultural produce.
Why in News?
Recently, under the operation of Greens, Government of India launched TOP to TOTAL Scheme through which producers and suppliers can transport the produce at subsidized rates.
· Operation Greens was launched in 2019 by the Government of India with an initial allocation of Rs 500 crores.
· AIM: The Operation aims at ensuring facilitation farmers with the right prices for their produce by focussing on organized marketing of TOP Vegetables and connecting farmers and consumers directly.
· To achieve the above-said aim, the government plans to provide financial assistance to FPOs, State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, Cooperatives, Food Processing Facilities, SHGs related to Agriculture etc.
· Further, the Government will connect e-NAM platforms to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) to improve the infrastructural mechanism of selling and buying agricultural produce. The Government has decided to develop over 22,000 agro-mandis under this initiative.
e-NAM or e-National Agricultural Market is a pan-India online trading platform developed by Government of India to facilitate bidding and linking of all the existing APMC mandis to create a one stop shop for sale and purchase of agricultural commodities.
· APMC or Agricultural Produce Market Committee is a statutory body constituted by state governments under the APMC Act in respect of trading of certain notified agricultural, horticultural and livestock products.
Objectives of Operation Greens
· Enhancing Price Stability for producers, processors, suppliers, sellers, and consumers through proper production planning in TOP clusters and introduction of dual-use varieties.
· To enhance value realization of Tomato, Onion & Potato (TOP) farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
· To reduce Post-Harvest Losses by the creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
· To increase Food Processing Capacities and value addition in the TOP value chain with proper linkages between all the stakeholders and production clusters
· To set up a market intelligence network to collect and collate real-time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.
TOP to TOTAL Scheme
· The TOP to TOTAL Scheme was approved by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in June 2020 and the guidelines were notified thereafter.
· The name TOP to TOTAL shows that Government has increased the focus area of Operation Greens from Tomato, Onion & Potato (TOP) to all the fruits and vegetables.
· Objective: To protect farmers from making distress sale due to COVID-19 lockdown and reduce post-harvest losses.
· The key measure taken under this Scheme is that the Ministry of Food Processing Industries will provide 50% of the cost for the following two components:
Transportation of eligible crops from surplus production cluster to consumption centre.
Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for eligible crops (for a maximum period of 3 months).
· Initially, a transportation subsidy of 50% was being given for Kisan Rail Scheme but it has now been extended to Air Transport as well.
· Airlines will charge supplier with just 50% of the freight charges upfront and then will claim the rest 50% as Freight Subsidy from the Ministry of Food
· The eligible states as of now are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim (Bagdogra), and Tripura from North-East, and Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh among the Hilly States.
· The Subsidy is valid for all the notified fruits and vegetables and it will be provided irrespective of the quantity.