Presenting the Union Budget on Tuesday, 1 February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced, "Inclusive development is the government's priority which includes procurement of wheat, paddy, kharif and rabi crops, benefitting over 1 crore farmers."
"1,208 lakh MT of wheat and paddy will be procured from 163 lakh farmers. 2.37 lakh crores will be the direct payment of Minimum Support (MSP) value to their accounts."Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Emphasis on Natural Farming
"Chemical free, natural farming will be promoted throughout the country, beginning with 5-km-wide corridors along the river Ganga," Sitharaman said.
"For farmers to adopt natural farming, a comprehensive package for participation of state governments and MSMEs to be introduced," she was quoted as saying.
Support will be provided for branding millet products nationally and internationally, she added. A scheme will be implemented to lower dependence on oilseed imports, which will promote domestic production of oilseeds.
Kisan Drones, Rs 44 Cr Ken-Betwa Link for Irrigation
Further, the use of drones for farming activities will be supported.
"Use of Kisan Drones for crop assessments, land records, spraying of insecticides is expected to drive a wave of technology in agriculture and farming sector," Sitharaman announced.
"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. 27 MW solar power generation," as per the finance minister.
Schemes for 'Digital & Hi-Tech Services for Farmers'
"A fund with blended capital, raised under the co-investment model, will be facilitated through NABARD. This is to finance startups for agriculture and 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," Sitharaman said.
"Scheme in PPP mode to be introduced, for delivery of digital and hi-tech services to farmers, with involvement of public sector research and extension institutions and stakeholders of agri value chains," she stated.
"With our provision for public investment in the last budget, this budget continues to provide multiplier effect which will benefit youth farmer, SCs, STs, women and poor," the finance minister stated at the opening of the budget presentation.
The budget, which comes days before elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Punjab, and three other states, had fuelled expectations of a boost in rural and agriculture spending.
In the 2021 Union Budget , the two departments – Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare and Department of Agricultural Research and Education – under the Agriculture Ministry were allocated a total amount of Rs 1,31,531.19 crore.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, meanwhile, hailed the budget and said that provisions had been made to provide facilities to the common man, reported by ANI.
"Everything has been taken care of in the budget. Whatever facilities the common people need, provision has been made in the budget," he was quoted as saying in Hindi.
'What Happened to Doubling of Farmers' Income by 2022?': Reactions to Agri Budget 2022
There were diverse reactions to the agriculture section of the Budget.
Yogendra Yadav of the Jai Kisan Andolan commented, "It has been six years that the government has been talking about doubling farmers' income by 2022. But not even a word was spoken about it in this Budget. Now when the time has come to answer the farmers of the country on this issue, the Modi government has opted to stay silent. Yet, the jumla (scam) of Amrit Kaal continues!"