Agriculture sector has been struggling to gain momentum as the growth rate slipped to 2.7% in 2018-19 compared to 5% in 2017-18. In order to attain the goal of doubling of farmers’ income, the focus is to not only address agriculture related issues but also to promote and support allied farming activities, such as animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries.
To boost and double the farmers’ income, there have been many provisions in the Budget 2020. Those provisions are as follows:
- Agricultural credit target set to Rs 15 lakh crore for 2020-21. All the eligible PM-Kisan beneficiaries will be covered under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme.
- For better marketing and export of horticulture products, ‘one state, one product’ approach to be taken.
- Barren land of farmers will be used to set up solar panels which will be connected to grid to sale surplus electricity. Further 20 lakh farmers will be provided solar pumps for irrigation.
- To address the storage and logistics problem:
- Indian Railways will set up Krishi Rail for rapid transport of perishable items. Regular express trains will also have refrigerated coaches.
- Krishi Udaan will be set up for both national and international routes by Ministry of Civil Aviation for the farmers in North-East and tribal regions to transport farm produce.
- Construction of warehouses at block level in PPP mode through viability gap funding.
- NABARD will map and geotag all the available warehouses and cold-storages to help farmers easily locate them.
Fisheries (Blue Economy):
- Fish production to be increased to 200 Lakh Tonne by 2022-23
- Fishery exports to reach Rs 1 lakh crore by 2024-25
- Rural youth to be involved in fishery as Sagar Mitra and in formation of 500 Fish Farmer Organizations
Dairy & Animal Husbandry
- Milk Processing Capacity to be doubled to 108 MT by 2025
- Co-operative Society tax rate cut to 22% from existing 30%. This will free up more resources for dairy co-operatives.
- Artiﬁcial Insemination coverage to increase from 30% to 70%. This will improve the cattle breed and hence the yield.
- Elimination of FMD and Brucellocis in cattle by 2025.
- Elimination of Peste des petits (PPR or goat plague) in Sheep and Goat by 2025.
- Fodder Farms to be developed under MGNREGS
So clearly, the major focus of the government is to boost agricultural credit, solve the forward linkage problem by improving logistics and warehousing facilities, increase the dairy and fisheries related activities. These steps in the Budget 2020 will be key in doubling the farmers’ income