Daily News Analysis

OPERATION GREENS

25th November, 2021 Agriculture


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Context

  • Tomato now at Rs 100/kg in Delhi and Chennai as prices soar due to unseasonal rains.
  • Farmers demand support measures.

 

About

  • Operation Green was originally launched in 2018 .
  • Operation Greens seeks to stabilize the supply of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) crops and to ensure availability of TOP crops throughout the country round the year without price volatility.
  • The scheme was extended during June 2020 to cover all fruits & vegetables for a period of six months on pilot basis as part of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries has launched the scheme.
  • NAFED will be the Nodal Agency to implement price stabilisation measures.

 

Objectives

  • Enhancing value realisation of TOP farmers by targeted interventions to strengthen TOP production clusters and their FPOs, and linking/connecting them with the market.
  • Price stabilisation for producers and consumers by proper production planning in the TOP clusters and introduction of dual use varieties.
  • Reduction in post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, development of suitable agro-logistics, creation of appropriate storage capacity linking consumption centres.
  • Increase in food processing capacities and value addition in TOP value chain with firm linkages with production clusters.
  • Setting up of a market intelligence network to collect and collate real time data on demand and supply and price of TOP crops.

Strategy

  • The strategy will comprise of a series of measures as decided by the Ministry which includes:
  • Short term Price Stabilisation Measures : MoFPI will provide 50% of the subsidy on the following two components:
  • Transportation of Tomato Onion Potato(TOP) Crops from production to storage;
  • Hiring of appropriate storage facilities for TOP Crops;
  • Long Term Integrated value chain development projects
  • Capacity Building of FPOs & their consortium
  • Quality production
  • Post-harvest processing facilities
  • Agri-Logistics
  • Marketing / Consumption Points
  • Creation and Management of e-platform for demand and supply management of TOP Crops.

 

Funding

  • The pattern of assistance will comprise of grants-in-aid at the rate of 50% of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to maximum Rs. 50 crores per project.

 

Current Status

  • After a closer examination of the scheme and its implementation, the experts feel that it is in slow motion mode and is nowhere near its objectives.
  • As per the study at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), “price volatility remains as high as ever, and farmers’ share in consumers’ rupee is as low as 26.6% in the case of potatoes, 29.1% in the case of onions, and 32.4% in the case of tomatoes”
  • The dairy sector has been said to improve more than Greens.
  • There are a few lessons Operation Green can take from Operation Flood.
  • However, its comparison with Operation Flood is a bit critical as the latter has been in operation for 20 years.

 

Way Forward

  • Results are not going to come in three to four years.
  • Operation flood lasted for almost 20 years before milk value chains were put on the track of efficiency and inclusiveness.
  • There has to be a separate board to strategize and implement the OG scheme, more on the lines of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for milk, which keeps itself at arm’s length from government control.
  • The criteria for choosing clusters for TOP crops under OG is not very transparent and clear.
  • The reason is while some important districts have been left out from the list of clusters, less important ones have been included.
  • The subsidy scheme will have to be made innovative with new generation entrepreneurs, startups and FPOs.
  • The announcement to create an additional 10,000 FPOs along with the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund and the new farm laws are all promising but need to be implemented fast.

 

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/tomato-prices-crash-to-rs-3/kg-farmers-demand-support-measures/articleshow/85658427.cms