Review of Union Budget | Budget shows integration of technology and green growth for agricultural transformation

The last full budget of the second Narendra Modi government, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, outlined plans for a digital push for agriculture to boost productivity and promote organic farming for green growth.

New agricultural programs are introduced in the priority areas of inclusive development and green development. Digital infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open source, open standards, and shared public good.

Digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Machine Learning (ML), can do much to boost agricultural productivity. This enables comprehensive farmer-centric solutions for crop planning, plant protection, improved access to inputs, credit, insurance and market intervention with relevant information services.

Introducing Agritech will bring about a change in the agriculture sector.

At least 1,000 agri-startups in India will be working in agritech in India by March 2022. In September 2021, the government announced the Digital Agriculture Mission to encourage and accelerate projects to provide additional fillip to the digital push in agriculture. Edge technologies including AI, block chain, remote sensing, robots and drones.

The announcement in the 2023-2024 budget will give impetus to agriculture digital transformation programmes.

An Agricultural Acceleration Fund will be established to encourage agricultural start-ups in rural areas. This is to bring innovative and affordable solutions to the challenges faced by farmers. It brings modern technologies to change agricultural practices to enhance productivity.

Mills to grow food, agri sectors
Millets are very climate friendly crops that require less water and can be grown under various agro-climatic conditions. The United Nations He declared 2023 as the International Year of Mills.

India is the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of millet. Sorghum is the solution to many problems facing the country’s food and agriculture sector.

In addition to promoting shola recipes and menus, the government should support small farmer oriented programs for the transformational revolution in the country. FM has announced that India will be a hub for mills. India’s Millet Research Institute, Hyderabad is supported as a center of excellence for sharing best practices, research and technology globally.

Although horticulture crops occupy only 13 percent of the country’s cultivated land, the sector accounts for 30 percent of the country’s agricultural output.

Timely availability of high quality seeds and planting material is critical to increase the productivity of these crops and the profitability of farmers.

The government will launch the Atmanirbahar Clean Plant Program to increase the availability of disease-free and quality planting material for high-value fruit and vegetable crops at an outlay of Rs.2.200 crore.

A cluster based and value chain approach will be followed through public private partnership to increase cotton productivity in the long term.

Budget 2023-24 shows the Union Government’s plan to deepen its involvement in the co-operative sector. The Union Government promotes cooperative economic development for small and medium farmers.

Facilitate processes
To facilitate ease of doing business for cooperative societies, the government has already started computerization of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) with an investment of Rs.2,516. Model bye-laws are developed to convert PACS into multipurpose PACS.

The government will implement a plan to establish large scale decentralized storage capacity. This helps the farmer not to waste the farm produce and get the proper selling price. The union government will facilitate the establishment of a large number of multi-purpose cooperatives, primary fisheries cooperatives and dairy cooperatives in underserved panchayats and villages in the next 5 years.

A new sub-scheme under PM Matsya Sampada Yojana will be launched with a target investment of Rs. 6,000 crores. This will improve the efficiency of the value chain of fishers, fish sellers and small and medium entrepreneurs and expand the market.

The agriculture credit target for 2023-24 will be raised from Rs.20 lakh crore. 18 million crore for the current financial year. However, for 2024-25, the fertilizer subsidy bill has been reduced from Rs.175148.48 to Rs. 225261.62 in the revised budget estimate for 2022-23.

Allocations for Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana and Prime Minister Kisan programs have also been reduced. The allocation for Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana has been reduced from Rs.15,500 to Rs.13,625 in the 2023-24 budget.

More than 11.3 million farmers have been covered under the Prime Minister’s Kisan scheme, which is worth Rs. 6,000 per year for each farmer. In a three-year period, this plan has provided more than 2 million birr to farmers in need.

The ones you pull.
The Prime Minister’s Kisan scheme has been reduced to Rs. 60,000 crore from the 2022-23 budget allocation. 68,000 crores.

In the year In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to double the farmer’s income by 2022. But the budget is completely silent on the issue. Two market intervention schemes, PSS-MIS (Price Support and Market Intervention) and PM ASHA have been completely scrapped in the 2023-24 budget to ensure price to farmers. In the 2023-24 budget, even the share of agriculture in the overall budget has come down significantly.

Public investment in agriculture has been declining over the years, with negative effects on public sector research, extension and development activities.

Climate change threatens the country’s agricultural production, food and nutrition security. Globally, agriculture and related sectors contribute to nearly 25 percent of anthropogenic emissions

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions.

Encouraging states
At COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, she laid out a detailed plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2070. The finance minister announced that the government would train one million farmers to adopt natural farming practices in the next three years. For this, 10,000 bio-input input centers will be established, creating a nationally distributed micro-fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing network.

Another program is PM PRANAM, PM PRANAM program of rehabilitation, awareness, nutrition and improvement of mother earth will be launched to encourage regions to use alternative fertilizers and chemical fertilizers in a balanced manner.

Although the FM has announced two major programs to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture, no specific corresponding funds have been allocated in the budget.

In the last financial year, marine products recorded the highest export growth, benefiting coastal farmers. To further enhance the export competitiveness of this sector, tariffs on key inputs for the domestic production of shrimp feed have been reduced.

The decision to increase the basic customs duty on synthetic rubber from 10 to 25 percent or a minimum of Rs 30 will benefit the struggling rubber farmers.

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