Agriculture’s ‘Fair Share’ in Budget 2023
The ‘First Budget of Amrit Kaal’ with its focus on Green Growth, Youth Power, Infrastructure and Investments is built on promoting a culture of Inclusive Development (Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas) with ‘development of underprivileged’ being the overarching priority.
Government’s resolve for establishing a strong foundation towards a developed nation through empowerment of farmers, women and economically weaker sections is highlighted in the centre’s multipronged approach to development. Investments have been directed towards a sustainable future while giving priority to health, nutrition, and food-security.
Agriculture and allied sectors are set to see direct capital and resource investments from the centre. Further, there is a conspicuous intent to upscale and channelise the efforts of the state and union territories (UT) for a more directional approach. This was witnessed through the following initiatives proposed during the Budget 2023:
- Agriculture Accelerator Fund is to be set up to encourage Agriculture start-ups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. This will ensure providing for innovative and affordable solutions for farmers and modern technologies for productivity and profitability enhancement
- The Agricultural Credit Target is destined to be increased to INR 20 lakh Crores with a focus on fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying. To ensure this, a new sub scheme of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with an outlay of INR 6000 crores is to be introduced for value chain efficiency
Upscaling the Digital Ecosystem:
- Digital Public infrastructure for Agriculture to be built as an open source interoperable public good to augment access to credit, insurance, market intelligence and support for growth of Agri-tech industries and start ups
- An outlay of INR 2,516 Crore has been approved for computerisation of 63,000 Primary Agriculture Credit Societies for business diversification and improving operational efficiency
Capacity Enhancement: In order to build capacity of the farmers and ensure due credit for the huge service of the farmers:
- Efforts are being augmented to bring India at the forefront of popularising Shree Anna (Millets) for ensuring food security and welfare of farmers.
- As India is the largest producer and second largest exporter of millets, progressive steps are being taken to make India A global hub for Shree Anna (Millets) to enhance profitability for farmers growing Shree Anna (Millets). Ahead of the International Year of Millets, 2023 Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR), Hyderabad would be supported as a Centre of Excellence for sharing the technology and best practices at international level
- Over the next 3 years, government is set to facilitate 1 crore farmers for adopting Natural Farming
- 10,000 bio input resource centres are to be established for pesticide and fertilizer manufacturing for creating national-level distributed micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network
- The storage capacity is set to be decentralised for farmers to realise remunerative prices and higher profitability
Aggregation and Sustainability: In order to ensure, sustainability and to bring local communities at the forefront of development:
- To boost production of high value horticulture crops, Centre is preparing to launch a ₹2,200-crore Atmanirbhar clean plant program to enhance availability of disease free quality planting material
- Public private partnerships as a collaboration between farmers, industry and state shall be established for boosting the productivity of long staple cotton
- Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes' (MISHTI) is a new scheme designed for promoting mangrove preservation and plantation along the coastline
- The centre shall incentivise states and UTs for promoting alternative fertilisers through PM Program for Restoration, Awareness, nourishment (PM PRANAM) of Mother Earth
- As a step ahead towards a Cooperation based Economic Development Model (“Sahakar Se Samriddhi”), government is formulating a new National Cooperation Policy for modernizing the cooperatives and building their competitiveness
- At the behest of 2030 agenda for sustainable development, Amrit Darohar scheme is to be implemented over the next three years for sustained biological diversity and to encourage the optimal use of wetlands