Under the new scheme which has received the Centre's nod, Nabard can advance direct loans to the public as well as the private sector for construction of warehouses, cold storages, cold chains and silos.
Elaborating on the scheme - Nabard Warehousing Scheme (NWS) 2013-14 - a Nabard official said the purpose behind it was to enhance the participation of private sector players in infrastructure development of warehousing for perishable agriculture produce such as fruit and vegetables.
"For the first time Nabard has extended its loan facility for warehouse construction to private parties, which earlier had the only option of approaching banks for finance," said Sunil Jadhav, Assistant-General Manager of Nabard.
Maharashtra currently faces a storage gap of 28.16 lakh tonnes, in addition to 15.89 lakh tonnes for cold storages, affecting almost all districts of the State.
The proposed financing of the private sector by Nabard by opening an additional avenue of lending in the field of warehousing infrastructure can bridge this storage gap and boost scientific storage and preservation of agriculture produce in the State, the Nabard official noted.
On an all-India basis, the scheme envisages creation of facilities for an additional 100 tonnes modern storage through the funding of NWS 2013-14.
For loan eligibility under the scheme, the infrastructure to be financed should be in keeping with the guidelines stipulated by the Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority.