What is Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF)?
The Union Cabinet approved the Rs. 15,000-crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) on 24.06.2020 as part of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan stimulus package to guarantee growth in a variety of sectors, and its implementation guidelines have now been released.
India is working on improving cow breeds to raise milk output and is also tending to the processing industry. Milk production in India is currently at 188 million tonnes, but is forecast to increase to 330 million tonnes by 2024. However, the government is making an effort to increase that number to 40% from its current level of 20-25%.
In addition, it was disclosed that the Dairy Processing Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) is currently being put into action for infrastructure development in the cooperative sector, and that the Alternative Housing Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) is the first scheme of its kind for the private sector.
After the necessary facilities are built, millions of farmers will benefit from the increased milk processing. Additionally, this will boost the already-modest export of dairy products. India’s Dairy industry must improve so that it can compete with that of New Zealand. Even with the Covid-19 lockdown, farmers were able to keep milk flowing to stores and consumers, to their satisfaction.
The government has been implementing various schemes to incentivize the investment made by the dairy cooperative sector towards the development of dairy infrastructure. The AHIDF was established because it is important to encourage and reward private sector participation in processing and value addition by SMEs and other businesses. The establishment of a private sector animal feed plant, as well as the establishment of a dairy and meat processing and value addition infrastructure, would be greatly aided by the availability of AHIDF.
Objectives of AHIDF
- Fostering entrepreneurial spirit and creating new jobs
- To Improve exports and raise the proportion of milk and meat products sold abroad.
- To aid in expanding India’s ability to process milk and meat
- To allow for more producer price realisation.
- In order to provide the home market with high-quality milk and meat products
- To accomplish our goal of providing our rapidly expanding population with sufficient, high-quality protein sources so that they can thrive.
- To supply economically priced, high-quality concentrated animal feed for a variety of livestock and poultry species, including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs, and hens.
Eligibility Criteria for AHIDF
The Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) provides financial assistance to the following types of organisations
- Farmer-Producer Organization (FPO)
- Private Corporations
- Sole Proprietors
- Organisations Eligible Under Section 8
- Micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs)
Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Section 8 Companies, Private Companies, and Individual Entrepreneurs (with a minimum 10% margin money contribution) would all qualify as beneficiaries of the Scheme. Scheduled banks would provide the remaining 90% in loan funding. Recipients who qualify will receive an interest subvention, from the Indian government of 3%. The loan’s principal amount will be forgiven for two years, and borrowers will have six years to pay it back after that.
Furthermore, the NABARD would be entrusted with managing a Credit Guarantee Fund established by the Indian government. Projects that have been approved and fall within the limits set by the MSME will receive a credit guarantee. The amount of the borrower’s credit facility that would be covered by the guarantee is limited to 25%. SIDBI’s Udyami Mitra portal is a convenient way for potential borrowers to apply for a loan from a scheduled bank in order to finance the purchase of machinery and equipment needed to begin or expand a dairy or meat processing and value addition operation.
There is a significant opportunity that can only be realised with private sector investment. With the help of the INR 15,000 crore AHIDF and the interest subvention scheme for private investors, sufficient funds will be available to cover the initial investment needed for these projects. As a side benefit, these investments in processing and value addition infrastructure by eligible beneficiaries would boost exports of these processed and value added commodities.
Due to the fact that between half and two-thirds of the final value of dairy output in India is returned to farmers, the prosperity of this industry has the potential to have a dramatic effect on farmers’ incomes. The growth of organised off-take by cooperative and private dairies is directly correlated with the size of the dairy market and the income realised by farmers from milk sales.
Therefore, encouraging investment in AHIDF would not only result in a sevenfold return on private investment but would also encourage farmers to spend more money on inputs, which would boost productivity and, in turn, raise farmers’ incomes. Additionally, 35 lakh people would benefit from the approval of measures through AHIDF by creating direct and indirect employment opportunities.
According to the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying, the Government has decided to vaccinate 53.5 crore animals, with 4 crore animals having already been vaccinated. Technology is being used to better breeds of animals. Still, the processing industry is where we fall behind. Additionally, processing plants for fodder can be built with the help of the AHIDF. This will assist in realising the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s goal of a five trillion dollar economy and doubling farmers’ incomes.
More than half of the people in rural areas rely on livestock for their income. Nearly nine percent of working-age Indians can thank it for their livelihood. The livestock population in India is enormous. The livestock industry accounts for 4.11% of total GDP and 25.6% of the total Agriculture sector.