Budget 2022 – country’s farm production exports hit a new high of ₹3 lakh crore – President Kovind
At the start of the Budget session, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday that despite the pandemic, the country’s farm production and procurement increased during 2020-21, and agricultural exports hit a new high of ₹ 3 lakh crore.
Kovind said the government is working towards making the nation self-sufficient in edible oils, as well as making special efforts to promote organic farming, natural farming, and crop diversification, in his address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in the budget session.
Strengthening Agri sector
‘My government is constantly working to empower farmers and the nation’s rural economy. I’d like to give all of the credit for the country’s consistent success and strengthening of the agriculture sector to the country’s small farmers’ he stated.
Amidst the pandemic, farmers produced over 30 crore tonnes of food grains and 33 crore tonnes of horticulture produce in the 2020-21 crop year, according to the President, who highlighted the Modi government’s achievements in the farm sector (July-June).
During the 2021-22 rabi marketing year (April-March), the government made a record purchase of 433 lakh tonnes of wheat, benefiting about 50 lakh farmers.
During the 2020-21 Kharif marketing (October-September), a record quantity of about 900 lakh tonnes of paddy was procured, benefiting 1.30 crore farmers, he added.
‘Because of the government’s efforts, our agriculture exports have also reached a new high. Exports of agricultural products increased by more than 25% in 2020-21, reaching nearly ₹3 lakh crore’ According to Kovind. He was referring to the 2020-21 crop year.
Domestic honey production increased by 55% to 1.25 lakh tonne in the 2020-21 crop year, compared to 2014-15, thanks to government incentives, he said, adding that honey production is an important way for farmers to generate new sources of income. In comparison to 2014-15, honey exports have increased by more than 102%, he added.
The President stated that the government has endeavoured to open new avenues of prosperity for farmers by launching Kisan Rail Seva to ensure farmers have access to the right market and remunerative prices.
‘During the covid time, Indian Railways functioned over 1,900 Kisan Rails on more than 150 rail lines to transport perishable food products like vegetables, fruits, and milk, transporting approximately 6 lakh tonnes of agricultural goods,’ he said, adding that this is an example of how new avenues could be established from existing resources if innovative thinking is used.
PM-KISAN scheme benefits
The President stated that small farmers, who account for 80% of the farmer community, have always been central to the government, and that the government has provided ₹ 1.80 lakh crore to more than 11 crore farmer families through the PM-KISAN scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme provides eligible farmer families with a financial benefit of ₹ 6,000 per year, payable in three equal installments of ₹ 2,000.
‘With this capital invested, the agriculture sector is witnessing significant transformation presently,’ he said, adding that the country’s small farmers have also benefited from the new crop insurance scheme changes.
Since the changes were implemented, more than ₹1 lakh crore in compensation has been paid to approximately 8 crore farmers, he added.
Kovind also mentioned that the government is investing at an unprecedented level in developing infrastructure near farmlands, stating that thousands of projects have been approved under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, which has a corpus of ₹1 lakh crore.
To make sure edible oil self-sufficiency, the Modi government has also launched the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm, with an ₹11,000 crore budget. He also mentioned that the government is making special efforts in areas such as organic farming, natural farming, and crop diversification.
Conserve of Rainwater
Special campaigns are being carried out in the country to build rainwater harvesting infrastructure and restore traditional water sources.
According to the President, 64 lakh hectares of land with irrigation facilities have been developed in the country through various projects funded by the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana and the Atal Bhu-jal Yojana.
The government has also moved forward with plans to connect rivers, Recently, the Ken-Betwa link project, which will cost ₹45,000 crore to complete, was also approved. This project will aid in the settlement of Bundelkhand’s water problem.
Aside from that, Kovind announced that the United Nations has designated 2023 as the International Year of Millets, which the government will commemorate next year on a large scale with farmers, Self-Help Groups, FPOs, the food industry, and the general public.