Budget 2019: Boosting farmer income, improving technology should be focus in agriculture sector

Agriculture is one of the principal occupations of India. Being an agriculture-based country with the second largest population in the world, the farming sector needs to be taken care of in order to prosper. The farmers are the heart of the country, without which India cannot develop.

While the Piyush Goyal's Interim Budget 2019-20 was dubbed as a populist one with a focus on 'aam aadmi' and rural growth and development, Nirmala Sitharaman's maiden budget is also expected to bring reforms and allocations in order to uplift the agricultural sector.

Here are some expectations from Budget 2019-20 agricultural section:

1. The fertilizer industry, during the interim budget, received Rs 0.7 lakh crore as subsidies where Rs 0.5 lakh crore was earmarked as the urea subsidy and the remaining Rs 0.2 lakh crore was to be given as the nutrient based subsidy. The industry expects an increase in allocation towards the fertilizer subsidy especially that of the nutrient-based subsidy. The focus of the government is to improve the agricultural sphere of the nation and to boost the farmer’s income. Increase in allocation towards the nutrient based subsidy will encourage the production of decontrolled fertilizers and promote a more balanced usage of fertilizers.

2. To improve the income level of farmers, the government may introduce various possible measures like incentives for adoption of farm mechanisations to improve yields, increase in the availability of institutional credit to meet input costs and other expenses for farmers. The reach of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Scheme may be expanded to benefit the farmers from all parts of India by increasing allocation towards the same.

3. The government may expand the reach of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) so that farmers can avail the benefit of the scheme by educating them. Also, subsidy progammes and insurance schemes may be introduced to protect the farmer.

4. The government may promote the use of drip irrigation along with the use of modern irrigation techniques to increase productivity. Also, it could focus on maximising the reach of water to farmers.

5. Promoting infrastructure in the agricultural sector as well agri-related sectors could be focused on. Also, relaxation in GST norms in the agri-related sector could facilitate income level and development.

With inputs from Financial Express

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