Budget 2022 highlights: Natural farming, 2.37 lk cr MSP, Drones, Digital, Rural enterprise.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated during the presentation of the Union Budget on Tuesday, 1 February, ‘Inclusive development is the government’s priority, which includes the procurement of paddy, wheat, Kharif, and rabi crops, benefiting over 1 crore farmers.’
Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance ‘163 lakh farmers produce 1,208 lakh MT of wheat and paddy. The direct payment of Minimum Support (MSP) value to their accounts will be 2.37 lakh crores.’
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Natural farming is emphasized
‘Chemical-free, natural farming will be promoted across the country, starting with 5-kilometer-wide corridors along the Ganga,’ Sitharaman said.
‘An extensive package for the involvement of state governments and MSMEs will be introduced to encourage farmers to adopt natural farming,’ she was quoted as telling.
She also stated that assistance will be provided for millet product branding on a national and international scale. A scheme will be implemented to reduce reliance on oilseed imports, thereby encouraging the domestic production of oilseed crops.
Kisan Drones and Irrigation Link
Furthermore, the use of drones for agricultural purposes will be encouraged. ‘The use of Kisan Drones for crop assessment, land records, and insecticide spraying is expected to drive a wave of technology in agriculture and farming sector,’ Sitharaman said.
‘The Ken Betwa Linking project, estimated to cost ₹ 44,605 crores, will be undertaken, with irrigation benefits to 9.0 lakh hectares of farmland, drinking water to 62 lakh people, and 103 MW of hydropower. Solar power generation capacity of 27 MW,’ according to the finance minister
Digital and High-Tech Services
‘Fund to be assisted through NABARD to finance Agri start-ups and for rural enterprise, pertaining for farm produce value chain start-ups will support FPOs and farmers,’ Sitharaman said.
‘A PPP scheme will be introduced for the delivery of digital and high-tech services to farmers, with the participation of public sector research and extension institutions and Agri value chain stakeholders,’ she said.
‘With our allocation for public investment in the previous budget, this budget continues to provide a multiplier effect that will benefit youth farmers, SCs, STs, women, and the poor,’ said the finance minister at the start of the budget speech.
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The budget, which comes just days before elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and three other states, has raised hopes for an increase in rural and agricultural spending.
The Agriculture Ministry’s two departments – Department of Agriculture, Cooperation, and Farmers’ Welfare and Department of Agricultural Research and Education – were allocated a total of ₹ 1,31,531.19 crore in the 2021 Union Budget.