Budget 2022: Significant Agricultural Reforms for Resilient Growth and Recovery
In Budget 2022-23, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured income to farmers through direct payments for Minimum Support Price. The amount paid will total INR 2.37 lakh crores and be paid between April 2022 and March 2023.
Furthermore, the Centre’s goal to promote digitisation and achieve sustainable agricultural productivity was highlighted through efforts to ensure the use of chemical-free farming methods and the utilisation of drone technology. The use of ‘Kisan drones’ for various agriculture activities, including, crop assessment, digitisation of land records and spraying of various nutrients would minimise discrepancies and heighten transparency in the sector, in addition to opening up livelihood opportunities for the youth. Chemical-free and natural farming methods would further boost farmer income and productivity. The FM thus urged relevant universities and educational institutes to modify their syllabi in order to incorporate such methods in the sector.
For better trade outcomes in the sector and to reduce import dependency, efforts to promote domestic cultivation of oilseeds and millet products were also noted.
In order to mitigate irrigation challenges, the government plans to implement the Ken-Betwa link worth INR 44,605 crores. This aims to provide irrigation facilities to more than 9 lakh hectares of farmers’ land and further needs farmers and the local population.
Last, significant emphasis was laid on facilitating start-ups and rural enterprises in the country. A special fund facilitated under NABARD is to be set up to finance such establishments to create agricultural value chains across India.