The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the Union Budget 2023-24 today, 1 February 2023. The budget outlines the government’s proposed revenues and expenditures for the upcoming financial year, serving as a roadmap for the country’s economic policies. The Indian economy has increased from the 10th to the 5th largest in the world in the past nine years. According to Union Budget 2023, per capita income has risen to ₹1.97 lakhs in around nine years.
In her Budget Speech, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister, emphasized the importance of agriculture and rural development. The Budget Speech laid out several initiatives to boost the agriculture sector and improve farmers’ livelihoods. The seven priorities of the budget are inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure and investment, unleashing potential, green growth, youth power, and the financial sector. For Farmers, the budget focuses on several crucial industries such as agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries.
The Modi Government’s budget outlines several vital aspects to support the growth and development of this crucial sector, including a targeted ₹20 lakh crore agricultural credit for animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries, digital public infrastructure for agriculture, and a massive decentralized storage capacity.
This blog will shed light on the latest budget updates on the various initiatives proposed to benefit India’s farmers and agriculture sector.
PM Matsya Sampada Yojana
The Agriculture Budget 2023 has suggested the introduction of a new sub-scheme of the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana with an investment of 6,000 crores to make it possible for fishermen, fish dealers, and micro and small businesses to improve the value chain and expand the market.
PM Matsya Sampada Yojana was created to set up a unified system and fill up the gaps in infrastructure that have long plagued the country’s fishing industry. The scheme aims to improve value chain efficiencies and expand the market. This scheme will provide financial assistance to the farmers and help them increase their productivity and income.
- Improve fishing value chain efficiency, reduces fish waste, and boost profits
- Grow the fish and related product market, demand, and industry
- Increase fishing sector investment to generate more jobs and boost industry workers’ incomes
- It makes marketplaces and sales easy for fishermen
- Encourage the fishing sector to use modern technologies to enhance fish and other goods and make them more competitive
Computerization of 63,000 Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS)
India’s most minor and fundamental cooperative credit organization is the Primary Agricultural Credit Society (PACS). It’s effective at the grass-roots level (gram panchayat and village level). The Agriculture Budget 2023 has initiated the computerization of 63,000 PACS with an investment of ₹2,516 crores. This scheme aims to provide farmers with easy access to credit facilities, improve their financial situation, and promote the growth of the agriculture sector. This initiative will help farmers to access credit at a lower cost and provide them with much-needed financial support.
- Improve credit access for farmers through digitizing loan processing
- Enhance transparency and efficiency in credit delivery through the online tracking
- Better management of financial records for PACS and farmers
- Facilitation of digital transactions and paperless loan disbursal
- Improve the loan recovery system through the online tracking
- Enhance credit appraisal and risk management through digitized records
- Improved monitoring and evaluation of credit schemes by the government
Atmanibhar Plant Program
The India budget 2023 has proposed the launch of the Atmanibhar Plant Program with an outlay of ₹2200 crores to boost the availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high-value horticultural crops. This program aims to provide farmers access to quality planting material, improve crop productivity and income, and promote sustainable agriculture.
- Boost the availability of quality planting material for horticultural crops
- Improvement in yield and profitability for farmers
- The spread of disease in crops is reduced through disease-free planting material
- Promotion of high-value horticulture crops leading to better returns for farmers
- Encouragement of innovative practices and adoption of the latest technology in horticulture
- Improvement in export potential of horticultural crops
- Promotion of sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices
Agriculture Accelerator Fund
The union budget announcements have proposed setting up an Agriculture Accelerator Fund to encourage agritech startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. This initiative will help young entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to the market, providing farmers with better solutions to their problems. The fund aims to bring innovative and affordable agritech solutions for farmers’ challenges, enhance profitability, and bring modern technology to agriculture.
Young entrepreneurs will bring innovative solutions to farmers’ challenges. The ffreedom app, with its courses on finance, business, and farming, will help these young entrepreneurs enhance their knowledge and skills to bring better solutions for farmers. The app can also benefit farmers looking to improve their financial literacy, business skills, and farming techniques. Farmers can access comprehensive and up-to-date information and education on these topics, which can help them make informed decisions and boost their agricultural productivity.
- Encourages agritech startups by young entrepreneurs
- Brings innovative solutions for farmer’s challenges
- Enhances profitability and modern technology
- Boosts rural economy and employment opportunities
PM Pranam Yojana – Alternate Fertiliser Program
The government has proposed the launch of the PM Pranam Yojana, a program for the Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth. The program aims to incentivize states and union territories to promote alternative fertilizers and the balanced use of chemical fertilizers. This initiative will help farmers to reduce their dependence on chemical fertilizers, improve soil health, and promote sustainable agriculture.
- Promotes alternative fertilizers and balanced use of chemical fertilizers
- Improves soil health and fertility
- Supports sustainable agriculture
- Incentivises states and union territories to adopt eco-friendly farming methods.
Modi’s Government has proposed building digital public infrastructure for agriculture as an open-source, open-standard, and interoperable public good. This infrastructure will allow farmers to access various innovative and affordable solutions for their challenges and help enhance profitability by adopting modern technology. Apart from these, the Government also enables inclusive farmer-centric solutions and supports the growth of the agri-tech industry and start-ups.
Furthermore, the massive decentralised storage capacity proposed in the budget will help farmers store their produce and realise remunerative prices by selling their products at appropriate times.
The Union Budget for farmers and the proposed initiatives will benefit India’s farmers. From easy access to credit facilities, improved crop productivity, and increased income to reduced dependence on chemical fertilisers and sustainable agriculture, the budget has something for everyone. The government is making India a hub for agriculture, promoting innovative ideas and modern technology in the sector.
Overall, the Union Budget 2023-24 in India is focused on empowering farmers, boosting the agriculture sector, and making India a leading player in the global market.