Budget 2023-24: FM terms millets as ‘Shri Anna’ & India leading nutrient-dense cereals
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared in the Budget for 2023–24 that digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be constructed as an open source, open standard, interoperable public benefit.
She said that it will help farmers plan their crops and give them easy access to inputs and loans. It will also help the agritech industry and start-ups estimate crops and gather market intelligence.
She also said that an Agriculture Accelerative Fund (AAF) would be set up to help new agribusinesses and young entrepreneurs in rural areas. This would help farmers find creative and cheap ways to solve their problems. It would incorporate cutting-edge technology to boost efficiency and profitability, she noted.
To boost extra long staple cotton production, a cluster-based and value chain approach will be used in public-private partnership (PPP) mode for input supplies, extension services, and market linkages.
A total of ₹2,200 crore has been allotted to supply disease-free, high-quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops, although the minister did not specify whether this was for one year or five years.
Sitharaman referred to millets as ‘Shri Anna’ and stated that India is at the forefront of popularizing the nutrient-dense cereals. She also said that the Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be promoted as an international center of excellence where the best research and technology practices can be shared.
The objective for agricultural loans has been raised to ₹20 lakh crore for 2023–24, up from ₹18.5 lakh crore in the current fiscal, with a focus on dairy, fisheries, and animal husbandry.
She stated that a new sub-scheme for the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana will be established with a target investment of ₹6,000 crore to expand the market and improve value chain efficiency.
She said that a cooperative sector strategy will create a lot of decentralized storage space to help farmers store their crops and sell them at the right time to get a better price.