Presenting Union Budget for 2020-21 on Saturday, 1 February, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a 16-point action plan to boost agriculture and farmers’ welfare. She said agricultural services need copious investments and added that the government has insured 6.11 crore farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna.
The government has asked states to adopt three central model laws on agricultural land leasing, marketing and contract farming, said the finance minister.
She added that 20 lakh farmers will be provided the funds to set up standalone solar pumps.
Focus on Water-Stressed Districts
The government has also proposed a comprehensive measure for 100 water-stressed districts, Sitharaman added.
Besides, the Centre also plans to help farmers use proper manure and little water and encourage balanced use of fertilisers, the minister said.
Balanced use of fertiliser will bring about a change in prevailing regime of providing incentive for use of chemical fertiliser, Sitharaman said.
The finance minister also said that Food Corporation of India and Warehousing Corporation of India to build warehousing facility on their land.
She said NABARD will map and geo-tab 162 million tonne capacity agri-warehouses across the country.
16 Action Points for Agriculture, Irrigation & Rural Development
1. Rs 2.83 lakh crore to be allocated for the following 16 Action Points:
- Rs. 1.60 lakh crore for Agriculture, Irrigation & allied activities.
- Rs. 1.23 lakh crore for Rural development & Panchayati Raj.
2. Agriculture credit:
- Rs. 15 lakh crore target set for the year 2020-21.
- PM-KISAN beneficiaries to be covered under the KCC scheme.
- NABARD Re-finance Scheme to be further expanded.
3. Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts proposed.
4. Blue Economy:
- Rs. 1 lakh crore fisheries‟ exports to be achieved by 2024-25.
- 200 lakh tonnes fish production targeted by 2022-23.
- 3477 Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish Farmer Producer Organisations to involve youth in fisheries extension.
- Growing of algae, sea-weed and cage culture to be promoted.
- Framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources.
5. Kisan Rail to be set up by Indian Railways through PPP:
- To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables (milk, meat, fish, etc.)
- Express and Freight trains to have refrigerated coaches.
6. Krishi Udaan to be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation:
- Both international and national routes to be covered.
- North-East and tribal districts to realize Improved value of agri-products.
7. One-Product One-District for better marketing and export in the Horticulture sector.
8. Balanced use of all kinds of fertilisers – traditional organic and innovative fertilisers.
9. Measures for organic, natural, and integrated farming:
- Jaivik Kheti Portal – online national organic products market to be strengthened.
- Zero-Budget Natural Farming (mentioned in July 2019 Budget) to be included.
- Integrated Farming Systems in rain-fed areas to be expanded.
- Multi-tier cropping, bee-keeping, solar pumps, solar energy production in noncropping season to be added.
10. PM-KUSUM to be expanded:
- 20 lakh farmers to be provided for setting up stand-alone solar pumps.
- Another 15 lakh farmers to be helped to solarise their grid-connected pump sets.
- Scheme to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their fallow/barren lands and to sell it to the grid.
11. Village Storage Scheme:
- To be run by the SHGs to provide farmers a good holding capacity and reduce their logistics cost.
- Women, SHGs to regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi.
12. NABARD to map and geo-tag agri-warehouses, cold storages, reefer van facilities, etc.
Warehousing in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms:
- Viability Gap Funding for setting up such efficient warehouses at the block/taluk level.
- Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) to undertake such warehouse building.
13. Financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) to be integrated with e-NAM.
14. State governments who undertake implementation of model laws (issued by the Central government) to be encouraged.
- Doubling of milk processing capacity to 108 million MT from 53.5 million MT by 2025.
- Artificial insemination to be increased to 70% from the present 30%.
- MNREGS to be dovetailed to develop fodder farms.
- Foot and Mouth Disease, Brucellosis in cattle and Peste Des Petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat to be eliminated by 2025.
16. Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – 0.5 crore households mobilised with 58 lakh SHGs for poverty alleviation.
(With inputs from PTI)
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