The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has recently updated the guidelines for short-term intervention under ‘Operation Greens’, and included more vegetables and fruits under the plan, as per the announcement in May this year by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Previously, the covered fruits included mango, banana, guava, kiwi, lichi, papaya, citrus, pineapple, pomegranate and jackfruit while the vegetables covered included French beans, bitter gourd, brinjal, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, chillies (green), okra, onion, potato and tomato.

The updated fruit list includes orange, kinnow, lime, lemon, apple, almond, aonla, passion fruit, pear, sweet potato and chikoo, while, the new vegetables included in the list are cucumber, peas, garlic, large cardamom, pumpkin, ginger, cabbage, squash and dry turmeric.

Operation Greens is a Central sector scheme and was announced initially for integrated development of Tomato, Onion and Potato (TOP) value chain with a budgetary allocation of Rs 500 crore. The scheme has two-pronged strategy of price stabilisation measures (for short-term) and integrated value chain development projects (for long-term).

Government as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat Package, upgraded Operation Greens and extended all fruits and vegetables (TOTAL). Under the plan, 50% subsidy will be given on transportation from surplus production to deficient markets and 50% subsidy on storage, including cold storages.

Food processors, FPO/FPC, co-operative societies, individual farmers, licensed commission agent, exporters, state marketing/co-operative federation, retailers and so on engaged in processing/ marketing of fruits and vegetables are eligible entities.

Minimum quantity to be procured and transported/stored per applicant (may consist of one or more than notified crops) will be 100 MT for FPO/FPC, co-operative, individual farmers; 500 MT for food processor, exporter, licensed commission agent; and 1,000 MT for retailers, state marketing/co-operative federation, according to the MoFPI note.

The MoFPI note also defines the category of the eligible entities for claim application. MoFPI is the nodal agency for food processors, FPO, FPC, cooperative society, state marketing /cooperative federation and retailers while for exporters, APEDA is the nodal agency.