The Union budget 2022-23 was announced on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The budget was presented by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The budget emphasized a strong focus on rural upgradation and development. The following measures and initiatives were announced focusing on India’s rural development:

1.    163 lakh farmers to received INR 2.37 lakh crore Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP) in their bank accounts for wheat and paddy. The focus of the DBT payments would start showing benefits over a period of 1-3 years. 

2.    Promotion of 'Kisan Drones' for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides, and nutrients.

3.    Chemical-free and natural farming to be promoted, with special focus on farmers’ lands in 5-kilometres wide corridors along river Ganga. 

4.    Support provided for millet production. Encouragement for post-harvest value addition and branding and marketing of millet products.

5.    Scheme for increasing domestic production of oilseeds reduce dependence on import. 

6.    Mandatory mixing of 5-7 per cent of biomass pellets in thermal power plants resulting in carbon dioxide savings of 38 MMT annually.

7.    Encouragement to revise syllabi of agricultural universities to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture, value addition and management.

8.    Announced package for production and harvesting techniques for fruits and vegetables.

9.    Vibrant village program for sparsely populated border villages in North India.

A focus on agriculture and allied activities in India’s rural sector is crucial. This move would enable higher consumption and growth in the rural economy. Additionally, more than 50 per cent of India’s population is dependent on the agriculture sector, whether directly or indirectly. 

The budget announcements are expected to have a positive impact on the entire rural population of India , especially the farmers. Furthermore, adopting modern agriculture techniques such as zero budget farming, organic farming and chemical free farming would aid farmer’s income. 

Finally, mandating 5-7 per cent of biomass pellets co-blended in thermal plants will also lead to reduction in stubble burning, increase farmers income and provide job opportunities for local population. 

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