(The Gist of Kurukshetra) 16 Actions Points for Agriculture [MARCH-2020]

(The Gist of Kurukshetra) 16 Actions Points for Agriculture


16 Actions Points for Agriculture

● The key aspect of the Budget announcement was the 16 actions points for boosting agricultural incomes. Let's elaborate each of the points in terms of their impact over the agriculture and allied sector.

  1. The finance minister urged state governments to implement three model laws enacted by the central government. Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016; Model Agricultural Produce and Live stock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act,2017;Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Contract Farming and Services (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2018.
  2. Water stress-related issues are now a serious concern across the country. The government is proposing comprehensive measures for one hundred water-stressed districts.
  3. While recalling her first budget speech of July2019, the Finance Minister had stated that" annadata" can be "urjadata” too. The PM KUSUM scheme removed farmers' dependence on diesel and kerosene and linked pump sets to solar energy. She has proposed to expand the scheme to provide 20 lakh farmers for setting up stand-alone solar pumps and additional 15lakh farmers solarise their grid-connected pumpsets. Besides, a scheme to enable farmers to setup solar power generation capacity on their fallow or barren lands and to sell it to the grid would be operationalised.
  4. The finance minister stressed the need for encouraging balance duse of all kinds of fertilisers including the traditional organic and other innovative fertilisers. She stressed the need for taking necessary steps to change the prevailing incentive regime (in terms of providing fertiliser subsidy), which encourages excessive use of chemical fertilisers. Excessive and imbalanced use of fertilisers at present is adversely impacting the environment as well as public health.
  5. India has an estimated capacity of 162 million tonnes (MT) of agri-warehousing, cold storage, reefer van facilities, etc. NABARD will undertake an exercise to map and geo-tag them. In Addition, the Finance Minister has proposed creating warehousing, in line with Warehouse Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA) norms. The central government would provide Viability Gap Funding for setting up such efficient warehouses at the block and taluk level. This can be achieved where States can facilitate land and are on a PPP mode Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) would undertake such warehouse building on their land. In the absence of warehousing, a significant chunk of the produce, especially fruits and vegetables gets destroyed thus impacting the farmers' income.
  6. For building backward linkages in the agricultural sector, the Budget has proposed a village storage scheme whichM would be run by the Self-help Groups (SHGs). This will provide farmers the ability to hold stocks of agricultural produce at the village level and reduce their logistics cost. Finance minister aptly referred to this measure by stating that women SHGs shall regain their position as 'Dhaanya Lakshmi'.
  7. The Finance minister also gave thrust on building a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish for which the Indian Railways will set up a 'Kisan Rail' through PPP mode. Refrigerated coaches would be available in Express and Freight Trains as well under the proposal announced. This move would likely reduce the transport cost of the milk. This measure would help in transporting milk from milk surplus regions (northern, western and southern parts of the country) to milk deficit regions (eastern and north-eastern parts) at lower costs.
  8. 'Krishi Udaan' will be launched by the Ministry Of Civil Aviation on international and national routes. This will immensely help improve value realization especially in North-East and tribal districts. Through collaboration with a private airline, Tripura Government has initiated exports of Queen Pineapple to Dubai and Doha Last year.
  9. Horticulture sector with its current producer of 311 MT exceeds production of food grains. For better marketing and export, the Finance minister has proposed supporting horticulture intensive states through cluster-based approach with a focus on 'one product, one district'.
  10. The Budget also proposes expansion of integrated farming systems in rained areas. Multi-tier cropping, bee-keeping, solar pumps, solar energy production in non-cropping season will be added. Zero-Budget Natural Farming (as mentioned in July 2019 Budget) shall also be included. The government would strengthen online national organic products market portalon 'jaivik kheti'.
  11. The Budget has stated that financing on Negotiable Warehousing Receipts (e-NWR) has grossed more than Rs. 6000 crore. NWRs are documents issued by warehouses to depositors (farmers) against commodities deposited in ware houses. NWRs can be traded, sold, swapped and used as collateral to support borrowing loans from banks. These receipts were made negotiable under Warehouse (Development And Regulation) Act, 2007 and are regulated by Warehousing Development and RegulatoryAuthority. The Finance Minister has proposed integration of e-NWR with the e-NAM. Currently585 mendes have joined the e-NAM portal andanother 400 mandis will be joining this portalsoon.
  12. Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) and cooperatives are active in the agriculture credit space. The NABARD refinance scheme will be further expanded. The Union Budget proposed increase in agriculture credit disbursement target of Rs. 15 lakh crore for 2020-21 against actual disbursement of close to Rs. 13 lakh crore in 2019-20. All eligible beneficiaries of PAKISTAN will be covered under the Kisan Credit Card scheme.
  13. One of the significant measures announced by the Finance Minister was increasing the milk processing capacity from 53.5 million MT currently to 108 million MT by 2025. This step would help in achieving the target set under the National Action Plan on Dairy Development (prepared by Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairy), of increasing organized milk handling by both cooperatives and private sector by 20per percent and 30 percent respectively by 2023-24 from the current level of 21per percent equally shared by both. This will impact the building of village-level dairy infrastructure, increase in milk procurement, manufacturing of milk products and enhancement of marketing capacities.
  14. The Union Budget proposes to put in place a framework for development, management and conservation of marine fishery resources. 'Blue Revolution' is being implemented through a centrally-sponsored scheme for Integrated Development and Management of Fisheries (IDMF) to achieve economic prosperity of fishermen and fish farmers and to contribute towards food and nutritional security through optimum utilisation of water resources for fisheries development in a sustainable manner, keeping In view the bio security and environmental concerns. It has been targeted to enhance the fish production from 107.95 lakh tonnes in 2015-16 to about 150 lakh tonnes by the end of 2019-20 under IDMF.
  15. Youth in coastal areas benefit through fish processing and marketing. By 2022-23, the Finance Minister has aimed at raising fish production to 200 lakh tonnes. The government would promote the growth of algae, sea-weedand cage culture. The government would involve youth in fishery extension through 3477Sagar Mitras and 500 Fish Farmer Producer Organisations and set up a target of fishery exports worth of Rs. 1lakh crore by 2024-25.
  16. Under DeenDayalAntyodaya Yojana-NationalUrban Livelihoods Mission, for alleviation of poverty, 58 lakh SHGs have been mobilised. TheUnion Budget has proposed to expand mobilisation of more SHGs


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Courtesy: Kurukshetra