Maharashtra Budget 2021-22: Govt to sow Rs 3,274 cr in agriculture to reap the benefits with farmers

As agriculture has been a silver lining with 11.7% growth in 2020-21, the state government has proposed an allocation of Rs 3,274 crore with the announcement of a slew of projects. At the outset Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in his budget presentation extended the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’s support to the farmers at the Delhi borders demanding repeal of three Central farm laws.

“We are consciously striving for a substantial increase in the productivity of farmers in the state. Transactions in the field of agricultural commodities should be done in a transparent manner and they should get fair prices. Our government is striving for this,” said Pawar.

Paying interest on crop loans was also often a problem for farmers. Keeping in view the objective to free the farmers from interest burden and preventing them from turning defaulter, the government has decided to provide zero percent interest loans to farmers who take crop loans up to a limit of Rs 3 lakhs and timely repayment. The amount of interest on crop loan will be paid by the government on behalf of the farmers. The required funds will be provided by the government.

The agitating farmers have opposed dismantling of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs). However, Pawar has announced a Rs 2,000 crore plan to strengthen APMCs in the state. Farmers in the State often bring their agricultural produce for sale in the premises of the Market Committees. Most of the premises of the APMCs lack the necessary basic facilities for the farmers. It is imperative to provide these facilities. The government has proposed Rs 2,000 crore scheme for Strengthening of Agricultural Produce Market Committee.

For orange growing farmers in Vidarbha, state-of-the-art orange processing projects are being set up at Varud and Morshi, in Amravati district. Citrus Estate will be set up on 62 acres of land at Paithan in Aurangabad district to enhance the quality and productivity of citrus crop in Marathwada and adjoining areas.

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