What is Operation Green? Know its features, objectives and other details here
Why in the news?
The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, while announcing the Union Budget 22 said that Operation Green would be expanded beyond TOP (Tomatoes, Onions, Potatoes), to almost 22 perishable commodities. The commodities are still unknown.
About Operation Green:
- It was launched initially in 2018 by Arun Jaitley
- It is a price fixation scheme that aims to ensure farmers get the right price for the crops they produce.
- The scheme focuses on organized marketing of tomatoes, onions and potatoes by establishing connections between farmers and consumers.
- This scheme aims to promote Farmer Producers Organizations, Agri-logistics, processing facilities and professional management of Agri produce.
- Those that can avail financial assistance under the scheme are State Agriculture and other Marketing Federations, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPO), cooperatives, companies, Self-help groups, food processors etc.
Operation Green: Objective
- The scheme must contain the wide price volatility for the three largest vegetables of India, Tomatoes, Onions and Potatoes.
- It must add to the value-chains of these, from fresh to value-added products, giving a larger share of the consumers’ money to the farmers.
- Lastly, it must reduce post-harvest losses by providing modern warehouses and cold storages at various places.
Operation Green: Features
- Operation Green is currently housed in the Ministry of Food Processing Industries or MoFPI.
- The Ministry has also invited some programme management agencies to take note of its implementation.
- The initial outlay of the scheme was INR 500 crore.
- Out of this INR 50 crore was reserved for price stabilisation for NAFED to interfere in the market whenever the prices crash due to a glut.
- 450 crore are reserved for developing integrated value chain projects.
Operation Green: 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 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.
A separate board is needed to strategize and implement the Operation Green. It needs to work on the lines of the National Dairy Development Board.
Operation Green lacks a leader who can take the scheme forward.
The criteria for choosing clusters for TOP crops under OG is not very transparent and it is because many important districts have been left out of the programme.
The subsidy scheme would be made innovative with new generation entrepreneurs, startups and FPOs.