Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the budget for the year 2022, and she made many important announcements related to farmers and the agritech sector. Let’s find out what is in store for agritech in this budget.
- The Finance Minister said that record purchase of rabi and kharif crops will be done of crops sown in 2021-22. MSP of ₹2.37 lakh crore will be transferred to the accounts of farmers.
- A scheme will be brought under the PPP model with the purpose of introducing farmers to digital and hi-tech technologies.
- Drone technology will now be used for the assessment of crops. Apart from this, drones will also be used for spraying 6 types of nutrients and insecticides on fields.
- States will be encouraged to revive agriculture universities.
- Chemical-free natural farming will be encouraged in the country. In first phase, organic farming will be practiced on the fields that are situated within a radius of 5km from the banks of the Ganges.
- Domestic production will be encouraged to reduce oilseed imports. Domestic production of oilseeds will be increased.
- 2023 has been declared as the ‘Year of Millets’. The government will not only provide facilities to promote the cultivation of these but will also help in its national and international branding.
- The government is aiming for inclusive development. This includes farmers cultivating paddy, kharif and rabi crops. 1,000 lakh metric tonnes of paddy will be purchased, thereby benefiting more than 1 crore farmers.
- The government understands that MSME accounts for 30% of the total GDP. Hence the government is encouraging farmers to adopt natural farming. The participation of State Governments and MSMEs will also be increased.
- Ken-Betwa Link Project will be started with ₹44605 crores. Once this project is initiated, it will help farmers and the local population living on more than 9 lakh hectares of land.
- 100 PM Gati Shakti Cargo terminals will be developed for multimodal logistic facilities.
These are the highlights of the budget for farmers. After going through the highlights, now let us understand the changes that will come in the agriculture sector. The government has emphasized promoting technology, so let’s talk about the benefits of technology in agriculture.
1. Drone Technology
Being an agricultural country, about 58% of the country’s population is dependent on agriculture for livelihood. Despite this, the sector still lags in the use of technology. We all know that most farmers are dependent on the monsoon for irrigation. Sometimes their crop are damaged due to adverse weather conditions or attacks by insects. However, drone technology can help overcome these challenges.
2. Natural Farming
Natural farming is mainly chemical-free farming. It is based on traditional methods of agriculture. ‘Natural farming’ means staying chemical free and using natural resources for farming. The ever-increasing price of fertilizers increases the expenditure of farmers. The high price of fertilizers compels farmers to take loans. This worsens their economic condition. This is the reason why in today’s time natural farming can prove to be a boon for farmers.
3. Inclusive Development
Inclusive development is of great importance in the agriculture sector. Development is the key to making Indian agriculture and the associated people financially independent. Part of it is sustainable farming. It includes many systems like organic farming, natural farming, permaculture. Along with this, it also depends on and takes care of things like crop rotation, rainwater conservation, mulching, floating farm, vermicomposting.
4. Boost to start-ups and private sector
The importance of start-ups and the private sector in agriculture has increased a lot. Start-ups are constantly coming up with new measures for the agriculture sector. This not only benefits farmers but also improves their economic condition. In the last two years, many startup companies have been set up in the agriculture sector. They have thus opened new dimensions of development in every field of agriculture.
5. Organic Farming
Organic farming is the future of the country’s agriculture. People are becoming health conscious and are also taking great care of what they eat and drink. In today’s time, the rising prices of fertilizers and the loss of crops due to natural calamities has increased the financial burden on farmers. Not only has this increased the cost of cultivation, but the farmers also have to deal with local moneylenders. To avoid this, organic farming is the need of the day.
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