BUDGET 2023: Agriculture

The Finance Minister, Budget 2023, announces an agricultural accelerator fund to be set up to fund start-ups by entrepreneurs in rural areas to develop affordable and innovative solutions for challenges faced by farmers. The objective is to bring modern technology to transform agricultural practices and enhance India’s agri production. The fund is to catalyse start-up interest in the sector.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the government is implementing a scheme to supply foodgrains from Jan 1, 2023, to all Antaodaya and priority households for the next one year.

 The agricultural credit target will be increased to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.

500 new Waste to Wealth Plants under GOBARDAN scheme to be established for promoting circular economy, a total investment of Rs. 10000 crores.

PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment and Amelioration of Mother Earth to be launched to incentivize states and UTs to develop alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers.

To enhance the productivity of extra-long staple cotton, Sitharaman announced the adoption of a cluster-based and value chain approach through public-private partnerships. This will include collaboration between farmers, the state, and the industry for input supplies, extension services, and market linkages.

The budget further announced the launch of an ‘Atmanirbhar Clean Plant’ program to boost the availability of disease-free quality planting material for “high value horticultural crops” at an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore.

Agri-tech: In her speech, Sitharaman said that the government is looking to develop a digital public infrastructure for agriculture that is open source and interoperable.

The PM-PRANAM scheme will also be launched to incentivize states and union territories to use alternative fertilizers, in a boost to “green farming.

The Finance Minister says a National Cooperative database is being prepared, as well as plans to set up a massive de-centralized storage capacity. This will facilitate the setting up of fisheries, farm and dairy cooperative societies in uncovered villages over the next five years. This is aimed at offering a boost to allied agricultural activities in the hinterland.

The Budget envisages India becoming a global hub for Sri-Anna or Millets, announced Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1 February, adding that the country is already the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets.

To make India a global hub for millet research, the Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be made into a centre of excellence.


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