I welcome measures announced by FM, will help rural economy, our hardworking farmers: PM Modi

New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday welcomed the measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to give a boost to the farm sector, saying that these steps will help rural economy, fishermen, animal husbandry and dairy sectors.

"I welcome today's measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. They will help the rural economy, our hardworking farmers, fishermen, the animal husbandry and dairy sectors. I especially welcome reform initiatives in agriculture, which will boost the income of farmers. #AatmaNirbharDesh," tweeted Prime Minister Modi.

Sitharaman on Friday announced Rs one lakh crore financial assistance to fund agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points. The agri-infrastructure fund will be used for setting up cold-chain and post-harvest management infrastructure, she said.

Sitharaman made the announcement at a press conference here as part of the third tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Modi in his May 12 address to help India become self-reliant in the wake of novel coronavirus pandemic.

She also announced a Rs 10,000 crore scheme for the formalisation of micro-food enterprises (MFEs). A cluster-based approach will be taken for unorganised MEFs to get technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards.

The Finance Minister said that critical gaps in the existing fisheries value chain need to be filled. The government will launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana for integrated, sustainable, inclusive development of marine fisheries.

A sum of Rs 11,000 crore will be allocated for activities in marine, inland fisheries and aquaculture besides Rs 9,000 crore for infrastructure development. "This will lead to additional fish production of 70 lakh tonnes over the next five years."

For 100 per cent vaccination of all animals across the country, a national animal disease control programme for the foot-and-mouth disease will be launched with an outlay of Rs 13,343 crore for estimated 53 crore cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig population.

Also, Sitharaman said that an animal husbandry development fund worth Rs 15,000 crore will be set up to support private investment in dairy processing, value addition and cattle feed infrastructure. Incentives to be given to private sector players for establishing plants for the export of niche products. (ANI)