Operation Green

Operation Green:
  • The finance minister in his budget speech announced Operation Greens, on the lines of Operation Flood, with a seed capital of Rs 500 crore.
  • India is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world with about 180 MMT.
  • Operation Greens wants to replicate the success story of the operation flood in fruit and vegetables, starting with tomatoes, onions and potatoes.
  • The main objective of this project is to reduce price volatility in these commodities, thereby helping farmers boost incomes on a sustainable basis.
  • It also aims to provide these vegetables to consumers at affordable prices
  • The litmus test of this scheme would be in containing the explosions and arrests in prices
  • Yields of potatoes, onions and tomatoes have shown a healthy growth by contributing to almost half of the country’s vegetable production.
  • Major hurdle being price collapse when their production rises sharply.
  • Onus lying on lack of modern storage facilities and the links between processing and organized retailing are very weak.
What does Operation Green include?
  • Links major consumption centres to major production centres with a minimal number of intermediaries.
  • The APMC Act will have to be changed to allow direct buying from FPOs, and giving incentives to these organisations, private companies and NGOs to build back end infrastructure as was done in the case of milk under operation flood.
  • The announcement of tax concessions to FPOs (farmer producer organisations) for five years. It will encourage building such critical infrastructure.
  • Second is the investment in logistics, starting with modern warehouses, that can minimize wastage
  • Third is linking the processing industry with organized retailing.
  • Dehydrated onions, tomato puree and potato chips should become cheap, so that an average household can use them
  • Processing industry adds value and absorbs surpluses. Hence the finance minister’s announcement of increasing the allocation for the food processing industry by 100 per cent is a welcome step.

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