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Revolutionizing Agri-Processing: Unveiling the Agro Processing Cluster Scheme by MoFPI


Introduction: Embarking on a mission to revitalize India’s food processing sector, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) introduces the Agro Processing Cluster Scheme. This transformative initiative aims to overhaul the industry landscape by fostering the establishment of food processing units through a cluster-based approach. Let’s unravel the intricacies of this scheme, exploring its core objectives, eligibility criteria, and the array of benefits it offers.

Key Objectives: The Agro Processing Cluster Scheme is strategically crafted to propel the development of modern infrastructure and common facilities, thereby encouraging collaborative efforts among entrepreneurs to establish food processing units. Through the cluster approach, the scheme endeavors to forge robust linkages between producers/farmers, processors, and markets, thereby amplifying supply chain efficiency and catalyzing value addition in the agri-processing domain.

Eligibility Criteria: This scheme extends financial assistance to a diverse array of entities, including Project Execution Agencies (PEAs), government entities, public sector undertakings (PSUs), joint ventures, NGOs, cooperatives, self-help groups (SHGs), farmer producer organizations (FPOs), private sector entities, and individuals. Eligible clusters must adhere to the criteria delineated in the scheme guidelines to qualify for financial aid, ensuring alignment with the scheme’s overarching objectives.

Benefits: The Agro Processing Cluster Scheme offers a substantial boost to eligible clusters through grants-in-aid covering a percentage of the eligible project cost. In general areas, the grant amounts to 35% of the project cost, while in geographically challenging regions such as the Northeast States, including Sikkim, and Himalayan States like Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Uttarakhand, the grant increases to 50% of the project cost. Moreover, state-notified Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) areas, islands, and projects spearheaded by Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) entrepreneurs also enjoy the enhanced grant. The maximum grant per project is capped at Rs. 10.00 crore, ensuring equitable distribution of financial aid across eligible clusters.

Conclusion: The Agro Processing Cluster Scheme heralds a new era of innovation and progress in India’s agri-processing sector. By providing indispensable financial assistance for infrastructure development and fostering collaborative efforts through the cluster approach, the scheme paves the way for enhanced entrepreneurship, streamlined supply chains, and augmented value addition. With a relentless focus on fostering growth and prosperity in rural and semi-urban areas, this scheme is poised to be a cornerstone in the socio-economic development trajectory of the nation, unlocking unparalleled opportunities for stakeholders across the agri-processing landscape.

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Mayank Sharma

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