The Government of India has approved Operation Greens, the Central sector scheme aimed at the integrated development of value chain for three commodities (tomato, onion and potato [TOP]), and the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) has, in this regard, also put out operational guidelines.

A budget of Rs 500 crore has been approved for the same for the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

“The government also intends to utilise the 28 centres of excellence under Indo-Israel Cooperation for the demonstration of new technologies in production and the supply of quality planting material and capacity building to farmers under the scheme,” said an official with the ministry.

Rs 200 crore shall be allocated in the first year, while Rs 300 crore has been earmarked for expenditure in the second year through MoFPI.

The projects under this scheme shall include making of farmer producer organisations (FPOs) in various parts of the country, along with provisions of agri logistics, processing facilities and professional management.

Operation Greens was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech this year. Under Operation Greens, the government aims at targeted intervention in TOP producing areas with a direct link to the market.

It also aimed at the stabilisation of the prices of these commodities, which have seen serious volatility in the past and reduction in post-harvest losses by way of farmgate infrastructure.

Another area of the TOP scheme was value addition to increase the shelf life of the product, as well as enhance the value addition. The scheme also emphasised on the creation of a market intelligence network to collate real-time data on demand and supply to check the localised gluts of TOP crops.

The government wants it to be implemented in a two-pronged strategy, the first being a short-term strategy focussed on price stabilisation and the second being a long-term one focussing on the development of integrated value chain development.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) will be the nodal agency for the price stabilisation measures, which will create an e-platform for demand and supply management of TOP crops based on market intelligence inputs.

Under the scheme, the clusters for tomato production include Chittoor and Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh; Kolar and Chikkaballapur in Karnataka, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar in Odisha and Sabarkantha in Gujarat.

For onions, they include Nashik in Maharashtra; Gadag and Dharwad in Karnataka, Bhavnagar and Amreli in Gujarat and Nalanda in Bihar while for potatoes, they include Agra, Firozabad, Hathras, Aligarh, Farrukhabad and Kannauj in Uttar Pradesh; Hooghly and Purba Bardhaman in West Bengal, Nalanda in Bihar and Banaskantha and Sabarkantha in Gujarat.