NEW DELHI: In a major step to strengthen India’s livestock industry, the Union Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a capital extension of Rs. 29,610.25 crore to Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF). The proposed expansion for three years to 2025-26 aims to provide investment in dairy production, meat processing, feed mills, propagation centres, weed management and veterinary vaccination protection and strengthening of drugs.
Under the scheme, the government will provide a 3% interest subvention for eight years, including a two-year moratorium, for loans up to 90% from scheduled banks, National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), NABARD, and NDDB. Eligible entities, including individuals, private companies, farmer producer organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, and Section 8 companies, can benefit from this financial support.
Dairy cooperatives are set to gain additional benefits from modernizing and strengthening their plants. In addition, the government will extend loan guarantees to MSMEs and dairy cooperatives, covering up to 25% of the loans from the Credit Guarantee Fund for a loan guarantee of Rs. 750 crores is available.
Since its inception, AHIDF has made a significant impact by adding 141.04 million LLPD milk products, 79.24 million MT of feed products and 9.06 million MT of meat products in the supply chain of the Scheme has effectively increased the production capacity in milk, meat and animal feed by 2-4%.
The AHIDF expansion is in line with the government’s broader objective of doubling private investment, technological development and exports in the livestock sector.The scheme has already directly or indirectly benefited about 15 lakh farmers, and has about 35 lakh people have found jobs through job creation.
Investing in the AHIDF will not only generate seven times private investment but also encourage farmers to invest more in barter, increasing productivity and ultimately increasing farm incomes This strategic plan holds the promise of not only transforming the livestock sector but also contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth.