NEW DELHI, 01 February 2023 : h2>Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture
The Finance Minister said that the Digital Public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open source, open standard and inter operable public good. She said, this will enable inclusive, farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services for crop planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit, and insurance, help for crop estimation, market intelligence, and support for growth of agri-tech industry and start-ups.
Setting up of Agriculture Accelerator Fund
The FM announces that an Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set-up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas, which will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices, increase productivity and profitability.
Enhancing productivity of cotton crop
To enhance the productivity of extra-long staple cotton, Government will adopt a cluster-based and value chain approach through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). This will mean collaboration between farmers, state and industry for input supplies, extension services, and market linkages.
Atmanirbhar Horticulture Clean Plant Programme gets INR 2200 cr
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Government will launch an Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme to boost availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high value horticultural crops at an outlay of INR 2,200 crore.
Global hub for Millets: ‘Shree Anna’
Ms Sitharaman quoted Prime Minister as saying, “India is at the forefront of popularizing Millets, whose consumption furthers nutrition, food security and welfare of farmers”. She said that India is the largest producer and second largest exporter of ‘Shree Anna’ in the world as it grows several types of 'Shree Anna' such as jowar, ragi, bajra, kuttu, ramdana, kangni, kutki, kodo, cheena, and sama.
She mentioned that these have a number of health benefits, and have been an integral part of our food for centuries and acknowledged with pride that the huge service done by small farmers in contributing to the health of fellow citizens by growing these ‘Shree Anna’. She added that to make India a global hub for 'Shree Anna', the Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will be supported as the Centre of Excellence for sharing best practices, research and technologies at the international level.
INR 20 lakh crore agriculture credit
Dwelling on welfare measures for farmers, the Finance Minister announced that the agriculture credit target will be increased to INR 20 lakh crore with focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries.
She informed that the Government will launch a new sub-scheme of PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with targeted investment of INR 6,000 crore to further enable activities of fishermen, fish vendors, and micro & small enterprises, improve value chain efficiencies, and expand the market.
For farmers, especially small and marginal farmers, and other marginalized sections, the government is promoting cooperative-based economic development model. A new Ministry of Cooperation was formed with a mandate to realize the vision of ‘Sahakar Se Samriddhi’. To realise this vision, the government has already initiated computerization of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) with an investment of INR 2,516 crore.
In consultation with all stakeholders and states, model bye-laws for PACS were formulated enabling them to become multipurpose PACS. A national cooperative database is being prepared for country-wide mapping of cooperative societies.
The finance minister said that Government will implement a plan to set up massive decentralized storage capacity, which will help farmers store their produce and realize remunerative prices through sale at appropriate times. The government will also facilitate setting up of a large number of multipurpose cooperative societies, primary fishery societies and dairy cooperative societies in uncovered panchayats and villages in the next 5 years.