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Union Budget 2022 - Focus on inclusive development in Agri Budget

- February 2022 | By Saurav Majumdar

Announcements related to the Agriculture sector in the Union Budget 2022

In a mandate to promote more inclusive development in the agriculture sector, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced it will undertake a procurement of 1,208 lakh MT of wheat and paddy from 163 lakh farmers, adding INR 2.37 lakh crores direct payment of Minimum Support (MSP) value to their accounts.

The government has also placed an increased emphasis on Natural Farming announcing that it will promote Chemical-free Natural Farming throughout the country, with a focus on farmers’ lands in 5-km wide corridors along river Ganga, at the first stage.

Additionally, 2023 has been announced as the International Year of Millets. This means support will be offered for post-harvest value addition, enhancing domestic consumption, and for branding millet products nationally and internationally. To reduce dependence on import of oilseeds, a rationalised and comprehensive scheme to increase domestic production of oilseeds will be implemented.

In addition to the above, various schemes for ‘Digital & Hi-Tech Services for Farmers’ have been announced.

  • For delivery of digital and hi-tech services to farmers with involvement of public sector research and extension institutions along with private agri-tech players and stakeholders of agri-value chain, a scheme in PPP mode will be launched.
  • Use of ‘Kisan Drones’ will be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records, spraying of insecticides, and nutrients.
  • A fund with blended capital, raised under the co-investment model, will be facilitated through NABARD. This is to finance startups for agriculture & rural enterprise, relevant for farm produce value chain. The activities for these startups will include, inter alia, support for FPOs, machinery for farmers on rental basis at farm level, and technology including IT-based support.

Implementation of Ken Betwa Linking project at est. cost of Rs. 44,605 Cr. to be taken up with irrigation benefits to 9.0 lakh hectare farmland, drinking water to 62 lakh people, 103 MW hydropower and 27 MW solar power generation. States will also be encouraged to revise syllabi of agricultural universities to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming, modern-day agriculture, value addition and management.