TN Agriculture Budget: Allocation rises marginally for 2022-23

Steps to be taken to achieve 126 lakh MT of foodgrain production; crop diversification to be encouraged to withstand climate change; holistic development of all village panchayats aimed at, says Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam

March 19, 2022 05:20 pm | Updated 08:36 pm IST - CHENNAI

Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam.

Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam. | Photo Credit: BIJOY GHOSH

Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister M.R.K. Panneerselvam on Saturday presented the DMK government’s second Agriculture Budget, which mainly focused on integrated development, besides allocating funds for various schemes.

The Agriculture Budget for 2022-23 increased the allocation for agriculture and allied sectors to ₹33,007.68 crore, slightly higher than the ₹32,775.78 crore in the revised estimate for 2021-22.

The government will take steps to achieve 126 lakh MT of foodgrain production in 2022-23, Mr. Panneerselvam said.

The Minister noted that to withstand climate change, crop diversification is being encouraged. “Special schemes will be implemented to popularize the cultivation of millets and pulses as an alternative to water-intensive crops. Schemes for establishing suitable water harvesting structures and ground water recharge systems are being introduced in the Agriculture Budget for increasing production on dry land,” he said.

This budget allocated ₹300 crore in 2022-23 for the ‘Kalaignarin All Village Integrated Agriculture Development Programme’ which was announced in the first agriculture budget. Mr. Panneerselvam said the main objective of the scheme is to bringing holistic development to all village panchayats. The project has been designed to be implemented in village panchayats identified under the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam every year, which is being implemented by the Department of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj. During the first year, this project is being implemented in 1,997 village panchayats of Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, as these two projects are converged and implemented parallelly, the Minister said.

“All the subsidies, welfare schemes, infrastructure, agricultural technology and training programmes of the Department of Agriculture will be converged and implemented effectively in close coordination with the Department of Rural Development & Panchayat Raj”, he said. This year’s allocation will cover 3,204 village panchayats converged with Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, as per the budget speech.

The budget allocated ₹ 132 crore for the Chief Minister’s Dry Land Development Mission. The scheme will cover an area of 7.5 lakh acres in 3,000 dryland clusters to support dryland farmers to take up successful cultivation of dryland crops. “This would increase the income and livelihood of 3 lakh dryland farmers. Agricultural inputs and seeds will be provided at subsidized costs. Priority will be given to farmers in villages where the ‘Kalaignarin All Village Integrated Agriculture Development Programme” is being implemented,’ Mr. Panneerselvam said.

The Budget allocated ₹2,399 crore as the State share of premium subsidy for the crop insurance scheme.

The Minister pointed out that the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) has prepared a detailed plan in its Potential Linked Credit Plan for the year 2022-2023 to provide a sum of ₹1,83,425 crore to agricultural credit. During 2022-23, district-wise targets would be earmarked, and the disbursement of credit to farmers will be monitored at the State and district levels continuously by the government of Tamil Nadu, he added.

Mr. Panneerselvam said when the State’s financial position improves, more financial allocations would be made. He also said government orders have been issued for 80 out of the 86 announcements made in the first Agriculture Budget, and they are in various stages of implementation, wile the six others are long term in nature and detailed guidelines are being formulated for them.

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