Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal launched the PM Formalization of Micro Food Processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme on 29th June 2020 under the programme  “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan”. Union mystery said that this scheme would generate an investment of Rs 35000 crore, generate 9 lakh skilled and semi-skilled employment and benefit 8 lakh units through access to information, training, better exposure and formalization.

“With a view to providing financial, technical and business support for upgradation of existing micro food processing enterprises, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has launched an all India “Centrally Sponsored PM Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PM FME) scheme” to be implemented over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an outlay of Rs 10,000 crore,” the minister said.

“The sector comprising nearly 25 lakh units contributes to 74% of employment in food processing sector. Nearly 66% of these units are located in rural areas and about 80% of them are family-based enterprises supporting livelihood of rural household and minimizing their migration to urban areas,” the minister added.

She also paid respect to the local food manufacturers and industries. The union minister said that ‘food products manufactured by the rural entrepreneurs in the villages have a long tradition of supplying Indian food products to the local population. The importance of these local units and their role has been primarily emphasized by the Honourable Prime Minister in his Address to the Nation on 12.5.2020′.

The Union Minister made the following announcements and statements: –

  1. Due to lack of access to modern Technology and equipment, training, instant credit, awareness on quality control and lack of branding and marketing skills, the unorganised food processing sector contributes much less despite its huge potential. The PM FME aims at changing that.
  2. Under the PM FME scheme, existing units that want to upgrade can avail credit linked capital subsidy @ 35% of the eligible project cost with a ceiling of Rs 10 lakh per unit, Seed capital at Rs 40,00 per SHG member will be given for working capital and purchase of small tools. Support would be provided through credit linked grant @ 35% for development of common infrastructure including common processing facility, lab, warehouse, cold storage, packaging and incubation center through FPOs/SHGs/cooperatives or state owned agencies or private enterprise to use by micro units in the cluster. Support for marketing & branding would be provided to develop brands for micro units and groups with 50% grant at State or regional level which could benefit large number of micro units in clusters.
  3. The PM FME adopts One District One Product (ODOP) approach to reap the benefit of scale in terms of procurement of inputs, availing common services and marketing of products. Farmers and entrepreneurs can expand and set up units for processing bhujia, meat, mango, potato, litchi, tomato, tapioca, kinnu, bhujia, petha, papad, pickle, millet-based products, fisheries, poultry, meat as well as animal feed among others. Preference would be given to those producing ODOP products. However, units producing other products would also be supported. Support for common infrastructure and branding & marketing would be for ODOP products. The Scheme also place focus on waste to wealth products, minor forest products and Aspirational Districts.
  4. State governments are major stakeholders of the scheme. Expenditure under the scheme would be shared in 60:40 ratio in between Central and State government. 90:10 ratio in North Eastern and Himalayan states, 60:40 ratio with UTs with legislature and 100% by Center for other UTs.
  5. Along with free online skilling classes to ST/SC entrepreneurs, Food Processing Ministry will also provide them access to digital content for 41 courses and job roles such as baking, making jam etc. Once certified, they will have better job potential and skill to begin a venture. She further informed that the participant handbooks and the facilitator’s guide created by the Ministry, through NIFTEM, will be converted into e-learning format with suitable digital content and online assessment service. These will be made available in English, Hindi and other regional languages by FICSI on web and on android based app on mobile.
  6. To protect the growers of fruit, veggies from making distress sale and reduce post-harvest losses, the ministry has extended OP GREENS SCHEME from tomato, onion and potato to other notified horticulture crops. They will now get 50% subsidy for transportation as well as shortage.

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