Budget 2020

Budget 2020 | Nirmala Sitharaman proposes 16-point action plan to boost agriculture, farmers’ welfare

Image for representational purposes only

Image for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: N. Rajesh

Finance Minister refers to it as part of the “aspirational India” segment of government strategy

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget 2020 speech, has proposed a 16-point action plan to boost agriculture and farmers welfare, referring to it as a part of the “aspirational India” segment of the government’s three-pronged strategy for development.

The Finance Minister said that the Centre proposed to encourage State governments that implement three model laws — Model Agri Land Leasing Act, 2016; APMC, 2017 and Contract Farming, 2018 — to ease the marketing of agricultural produce.

The salient points of the action plan are:

  1. The government proposes plans to help farmers use proper manure and little water, encourage balanced use of fertilizers
  2. Comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts
  3. Annadata scheme to be expanded to include “Oorjadata” to help farmers link pumps to solar grid. Farmers having fallow and barren lands can set up solar power generation units and they can sell it to grids to make a living
  4. The government plans to expand PM Kusum solar pump scheme to assist 20 lakh farmers
  5. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to undertake an exercise to map and geotag warehouses across the country, and provide viability funding to set up new ones. Food Corporation can undertake such projects in its land too
  6. In order to empower women in rural areas, village storage schemes run by SHGs have been proposed. Women SHGs can avail of Mudra or NABARD assistance under Dhaanyalakshmi scheme
  7. Seamless national cold supply scheme: Indian Railways to set up Kisaan rail, with refrigerated coaches in trains for milk and other perishable produce. Krishi Udan will be launched by the Civil Aviation Ministry on national and international routes, with an eye on increasing connectivity in northeast and tribal districts
  8. Horticulture sector exceeds the production of food grains at 311 mn metric tonnes. In each district, one product to be encouraged with the help of State government
  9. Integrated farming systems in rain-fed areas to be expanded to encourage solar energy, bee-keeping, etc. in non-farming seasons
  10. Online organic market to be strengthened
  11. The government proposes doubling of milk processing capacity to 108 million metric tonnes by 2025
  12. Fish production to go up to 200 lakh tonnes by 2021-22
  13. ₹15 lakh crore agricultural credit to be made available by 2021
  14. Proposal to eliminate foot and mouth disease, brucellosis in cattle, PPR in sheep by 2025
  15. Growing of algae and seaweed to be encouraged as part of marine development
  16. Youth to be involved in fisheries sector as “Saagar mitras” and form 500 fish farmer producer organisations

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 6:06:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/budget-2020-nirmala-sitharaman-proposes-16-point-action-plan-to-boost-agriculture-farmers-welfare/article30710432.ece

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