In an attempt to push 'Vocal for Local' outreach programme mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation on May 12, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a host of measures in the third tranche of the economic stimulus. The Finance Minister announced Rs 10,000 crore for the formalisation of micro food enterprises (MFEs).
She said that unorganised MFE units would require technical upgradation to attain FSSAI food standards as well as build brands and to market their products. Sitharaman said that a scheme will be launched to help 2 lakh MFEs attain the aforementioned goals. Through this scheme existing MFEs, farmer producer organisations, self-help groups and cooperatives will be supported. "Improved health and safety standards, integration with retail markets and improved incomes to be key focus areas," said the FM.
The minister also advocated cluster-based approach to help the MFEs for eg. cluster formed in UP would be for mango, kesar in Jammu and Kashmir, bamboo shoot in Northeast, tapioca in Tamil Nadu, makhana in Bihar, etc. The government would focus on the particular produce in that region to boost its production, marketing and health and safety standards.
Nirmala Sitharaman said that these measures would also help in the export of these products in untapped markets.
The Finance Minister announced a financing facility of Rs 1 lakh crore to fund agriculture infrastructure projects at farm-gate and aggregation points.