Union Budget 2023: Know big announcements for Agriculture sector
FM Sitharaman's push for agri-startups and much more
Union Budget 2023 | Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget for 2023-2024. She said, ‘This is the first budget in AmritKal. This budget hopes to build on the foundation laid in the previous budget and the blueprint drawn for India@100.’
Union Budget 2023
The performance of the agriculture and allied sector has been buoyant over the past several years, much of which is on account of the measures taken by the government to augment crop and livestock productivity, ensure certainty of returns to the farmers through price support, promote crop diversification, improve market infrastructure through the impetus provided for the setting up of farmer-producer organizations and promotion of investment in infrastructure facilities through the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
The total allocation for the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare in the 2022-23 Budget was Rs 1.32 lakh crore, which was 4.3 percent higher than the revised estimates of the 2021-22 Budget. While presenting the Union Budget 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her speech that the government has increased the agricultural credit target by over 11% over the last year’s allocation to Rs 20 for the new financial year with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.
An Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be launched to encourage agriculture startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by the farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices and increase productivity and profitability, said FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
Atmanirbhar Clean Plant
FM announced that Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture will be set up as an “open-source, open-standard, and interoperable public good.” This will include inclusive farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services for crop planning and help improve access to farm inputs, credit, and insurance, help for crop estimation, market intelligence, and support for the growth of the agri-tech industry and startups.
Also, to enhance the productivity of extra-long staple cotton, Sitharaman said that a cluster-based and value chain approach through public-private partnerships will be adopted. This means collaboration between farmers, state, and industry for input supplies, extension services, and market linkages.
She further said that an ‘Atmanirbhar Clean Plant’ Program will be launched to boost the availability of disease-free quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops at an outlay of 2,200 crores. Moreover, Global Hubs for Millets was also announced. FM reads, ‘India at the forefront of popularizing millets whose consumption for further nutrition, food security and welfare of farmers’ said by the honorable PM. India is even the largest producer and second largest exporter of Millets in the world.
PM Matsya Sampada Yojana
Now, to make India a global hub for Millets, the India Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad, will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies at the International level.
A sub-scheme under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana will be launched, which is an existing scheme with a targeted investment of 6,000 crores to further enable activities of fishermen, fish vendors, and micro and small entrepreneurs improved value-chain efficiencies and expand the market. For farmers, especially small and marginal farmers and other marginalized sections, the government is promoting a cooperative-based economic development model.
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