Ministry of Civil Aviation launches the Krishi Udan 2.0 scheme for facilitating movement of agricultural produce

Published : October 29, 2021 21:20 IST

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia launches Krishi UDAN 2.0 in New Delhi on October 27. Photo: PTI


In a bid aimed at facilitating and incentivising the movement of agricultural produce through air transportation, especially biodegradable food products from hilly areas, north-eastern States and tribal regions, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has launched the Krishi Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (Krishi Udan 2.0) scheme. The Krishi UDAN scheme was launched in August 2020 to assist farmers in transporting agricultural products on international and national routes so that it improves their value realisation. Krishi UDAN 2.0, too, will focus on bringing about a convergence between the agriculture and aviation sectors (A2A: Agriculture to Aviation).

Krishi UDAN 2.0 will be implemented at 53 airports across the country, primarily focussing on the north-eastern States and tribal regions, and is expected to benefit farmers, freight forwarders and airlines. The MoCA has identified seven domestic and international trade routes under the scheme. The trade routes include the Amritsar-Dubai route, to enable transportation of baby corn; Darbhanga to the rest of India to transport lychees; Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata to the East Asian countries to transport seafood; and from Sikkim to the rest of India for organic produce. The other trade routes the Ministry is setting up are: Agartala-Delhi-Dubai for transportation of pineapples; Dibrugarh-Delhi-Dubai for Mandarin oranges; and Guwahati to Hong Kong for pulses, fruits, and vegetables. Officials in the Ministry told Frontline that the logistics to operate these trade routes were being put in place, with a launch expected in a few weeks.

Under the scheme, the Ministry will be providing a full waiver on landing, parking, terminal navigation and route navigation facilities charges for all domestic airlines. The Ministry plans to pilot the scheme for six months prior to introducing amendments based on the results of the evaluation and consultations with other stakeholders.

Announcing these measures, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister for Civil Aviation, claimed that the Krishi UDAN 2.0 scheme was proof of the government’s commitment towards doubling farmers income. Said Scindia: “To penetrate deeper into the hinterland, to be able to provide value especially for perishable commodities, our Ministry has embarked on Krishi Udaan 2.0 scheme.”

He said that the scheme will also strengthen cargo-related infrastructure by facilitating the development of a hub-and-spoke model and a freight grid. Scindia said that as a part of the government’s focus on the north-eastern States, tribal and hilly districts, airside transit and trans-shipment infrastructure will be created at Bagdogra and Guwahati airports and at Leh, Srinagar, Nagpur, Nashik, Ranchi and Raipur.

The Ministry has also asked States to reduce sales tax on aviation turbine fuel to one perc ent for airlines under the Krishi UDAN 2.0 scheme.

The Ministry is also developing an online platform named E-Kushal (Krishi Udaan for Sustainable Holistic Agri-Logistics), which will facilitate information dissemination to all stakeholders regarding the transportation of agricultural produce. E-Kushal will also assist in coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the Krishi UDAN 2.0 scheme. The MoCA has also proposed a convergence of E-Kushal with the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform.