Rs 2.83 lakh crore outlay for agriculture


New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday announced an outlay of Rs 2.83 lakh crore for agriculture and allied sector for the financial year 2020-21.

Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha, she said that Rs 2.83 lakh crore will be allocated for agriculture and allied sector, while Rs 1.23 lakh crore for rural development and Panchayati Raj.

The Central government has also set to disburse Rs 15 lakh crore among farmers as credit during the year 2020-21.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the refinancing scheme of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will be further expanded.

“Agriculture credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at Rs 15 lakh crore,” she said.’

Finance Minister Sitharaman also presented a 16-point plan to revive the farm and agriculture sector.

These include encouraging states to take up model agricultural laws, comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts, PM Kusum Scheme, which removes dependence on kerosene and encourages the use of solar power, balanced use of fertilisers, an important step because currently the use of chemical fertilisers is incentivised.

“NABARD will take up an exercise of mapping and geotagging agricultural warehouses, cold storage and other inventory storages,” she said.

She also announced that the Krishi UDAAN scheme will be launched by the Aviation Ministry. “Horticulture sector with its current produce exceeds the production of food grains. We will now take it to ‘one product, one district.”

She said that financing of negotiable warehousing receipts will be integrating other e-services.

“Our government aims to eliminate the foot and mouth disease in sheep and goat by 2025,” she said.

The minister announced the doubling of milk production of 53.5 million metric tonnes of milk to 103 metric million tonnes by 2025.

“Our government will involve youths in the fishery sector. We hope the rural youth will work as Sagar Mitras and also form Fish Farmer Organisation,” she said.

The Finance Minister also announced that financing on negotiable warehousing receipts will be integrated with e-National Agricultural Market.

She also said that the village storage scheme run by SHGs will provide holding capacity for farmers, and women in villages can regain their status as Dhanya Lakshmi.

“We will encourage balanced use of all fertilisers, a necessary step to change the incentive regime which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilisers,” added the minister. (ANI)