Financial support is essential at every step in the value chain – from collection and cultivation of plants, their processing and the manufacture of products, transport, storage and marketing.
To encourage collection and cultivation a combination of procurement, minimum support prices, crop insurance and relief during times of distress (floods and droughts) need priority. To encourage cultivation emphasis has to be placed on providing finance for land improvement especially dry and degraded soils and the establishment of irrigation and allied facilities. Processing units need fiscal incentives for R&D and brand development. Dedicated processing parks deserve consideration.
Such support should take the form of loans, subsidies, outright grants and tax incentives. Dedicated credit lines for this sector, venture capital and start-up funding need emphasis as has been done for other sectors of the economy. Adequate credit including at concessional rates for the deserving needs emphasis.