Reiterating Prime Minister’s commitment towards “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas , Sabka Vishwas” and “Ease of Living” for people of India, Union minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech in Parliament today proposed 16 action points focusing on doubling Farmers income, Horticulture sector, Food storage, Animal Husbandry and Blue economy.
Doubling Farmers Income
With the aim of doubling farmers income by 2022, Smt. Sitharaman in her budget speech proposed to expand PM-KUSUM to 20 lakh farmers for setting up stand alone solar pumps and help another 15 lakh farmers solarise their grid connected pump sets. She further proposed to operationalize scheme to enable farmers to set up solar power generation capacity on their fallow/barren lands and to sell it to grid. Resource efficiency is the first step in doubling farmer’s income and keeping this in mind Smt. Sitharaman further stressed to encourage balanced use of all kinds of fertilizers and Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF). She further proposed integration of negotiable warehousing receipts (e-NWR) and National Agricultural Market (e-NAM).
“Integrated farming systems for rainfed areas shall be expanded. Multi-tier cropping, bee keeping, solar pumps, solar energy production in non cropping season will be added. The portal on “Jaivik kheti” – online national organic products market will also be strengthened” Smt. Sitharaman said.
To address concerns related to water stress in various parts of the country, Finance Minister said “our government is proposing comprehensive measures for one hundred water stressed districts”.
Storage and Logistics
To promote storage infrastructure and reduce wastage of food grains Smt. Sitharaman proposed creation of warehouses through viability gap funding on a PPP mode at block level. She also proposed warehouse building by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) on their land too. As a backward linkage, Smt. Sitharaman proposed village storage scheme to be run by Self Help Groups (SHG). “Women, SHG’s shall regain their position as Dhaanya Lakshmi” said Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.
To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat, Smt. Sitharaman said, “Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail-through PPP arrangements. There shall be refrigerated coaches in express and freight trains as well”. “To help improve value realization especially in North-East and tribal districts Krishi Udaan will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation” added the Finance Minister.
Recognizing the contribution of animal husbandry sector in farmer’s income, Smt. Sitharaman aimed to eliminate Foot and Mouth disease, brucellosis in cattles and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep and goat by 2025 and to increase coverage of artificial insemination from 30 percent to 70 percent. “we shall facilitate doubling of milk processing capacity from 53.5 million MT to 108 million MT by 2025” said Smt. Sitharaman.
Setting agriculture credit target of rupees 15 lakh crore for the year 2020-21. She stated that all eligible beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) will be covered under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme.
On horticulture, she said “For better marketing and export, we propose supporting states which, adopting a cluster basis will focus on one product one district”
Smt. Sitharaman proposed to put in place a framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources and promotion of algae, sea weed and cage culture that will assist in raising fish production to 200 lakh tonnes by 2022-23.
Smt. Sitharaman in her budget speech said that “our government will involve youth in fishery extension through 3477 sagar mitras and 500 fish farmer producer organizations. We hope to raise fishery export to rupees 1 lakh crore by 2024-25”.
Following the spirit of Co-operative Federalism, Smt. Sitharaman also proposed to encourage those states governments who undertake implementation of Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016; Model Agricultural Produce and livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017 and Model Agricultural produce and Livestock Contract Farming and services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2018.