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As On 19-Aug-2022 15:59 PM
SENSEX
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  • Agriculture: Chemical Free Natural Farming To Be Promoted, Food And Fertilizer Subsidy Reduced

    Budget Provisions:

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has made significant announcements for the agriculture sector in the Union Budget 2022. Announcing the estimated procurement of wheat in Rabi season 2021-22 and of paddy in Kharif season 2021-22, she said that 1,208 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and paddy will be procured from 163 lakh farmers. Further, she added that Rs 2.37 lakh crores will be the direct payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP) value to their accounts. Further, a completely paperless, e-bill system will be launched by ministries for procurement. Railways will develop new products for small farmers and MSMEs, the Minister added.

    Announcing the setting up of a fund with blended capital raised under co-investment model to be facilitated through NABARD to finance start-ups in agriculture and rural enterprises for farm produce value chain, she added that the States will be encouraged to revise syllabi of agricultural universities to meet needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture.

    To drive a wave of technology in the agriculture and farming sector, the Finance Minister said that the government will deploy ‘Kisan Drones' for crop assessments, land records and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.

    As 2022-23 has been announced as International Year of Millets, Sitharaman announced that a rationalised scheme will be brought in to increase domestic oilseed production will be brought in to cut down imports. Emphasising the government's thrust on modern-day agriculture and organic farming; she added that chemical-free natural farming will be promoted throughout the country with a focus on farmers' land in 5 km wide corridors along the river Ganga, in the first stage.

    The Finance Minister announced various river-linking projects including the implementation of the Ken-Betwa link worth Rs 44,605 crore will be taken up to provide irrigation to over 9 lakh hectares of farmers' land.

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today unveiled a multitude of schemes to modernise the agricultural sector of India. She said that the Narendra Modi government plans to use and promote Kisan Drones for crop assessment. She added that all land records would be digitizated to reduce errors and ease of access. Additionally, spraying of insecticides and nutrients would be encouraged.

    Finance Minister stated that a fund would also be facilitated through NABARD to finance startups for agriculture and rural enterprise, relevant for farm produce value chain. Startups will support FPOs and provide tech to farmers. She also said rationalized and comprehensive scheme to increase domestic production of oil seeds would be implemented to reduce dependence on import of oil seeds.

    A scheme in PPP mode would be introduced for delivery of digital and hi-tech services to farmers. This would involve public sector research and extension institutions and stakeholders of agri value chains.

    Stocks to watch:

    UPL Ltd, Bayer CropScience Ltd, PI Industries Ltd, Rallis India Ltd, Meghmani Organics Ltd, Insecticides India Ltd, DhanukaAgritech Ltd, Chambal Fertilizers

    Outlook:

    While the broad announcements in the Union Budget offer plenty of scope for long term and inclusive development, the challenges faced by farmers in terms of elevated input costs and fuel price inflation largely remained unaddressed. The fertilizer subsidy in the budget has dropped to Rs 1.05 lakh crore from last year's revised number of Rs 1.40 lakh crore which is alarming given the massive surge in global fertilizer prices. The food subsidy has also been cut as the allocated amount is down to Rs 2.1 lakh crore from Rs 2.9 lakh crore last year. However, government has increased the agricultural credit target to Rs 18 lakh crore for the 2022-23 fiscal from Rs 16.50 lakh crore for the current fiscal.



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Flash News 19-Aug-2022
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