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Budget 2022: What Does Agriculture Sector Expect From Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget?

Budget 2022 Expectations: Agriculture Sectors wants the government to enable more technological advancement in the sector. The experts want the government to subsidise crop insurance further and provide the farmers with additional subsidies to buy drones and other accessories.

Updated: January 31, 2022 5:40 PM IST

By Business Desk | Edited by Raghav Aggarwal

Budget 2022: What Does Agriculture Sector Expect From Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget?
Budget 2022 Expectations: Experts believe that technology can play a big role in doubling the farmers' income

New Delhi: Agriculture sector in India is the biggest employer in the country. However, it continues to be plagued with supply chain problems and a lack of proper warehousing facilities. Thousands of farmers lose their produce. Along with this, farmers have to borrow money from banks and moneylenders. In case the produce fails, it puts them under a lot of pressure.

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The technology has been progressing daily at a neck=breaking speed. But the agriculture sector in India has not been able to accommodate technology to its full potential. Ahead of Budget 2022, experts expect the government to integrate more technology with the agriculture sector.

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Anuj Kumbhat, Founder & CEO, Weather Risk Management Services(WRMS) said, “As agriculture remains the backbone of the rural economy in India, the sector is always the key spotlight in the Union Budget. In the current scenario, where the country is making all the possible ways to deal with another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect the government to allocate a significant amount of budget that paves the way for economic revival for the farmers.”

He continued, “As we know, COVID has given a booster dose to the digital transformation; we would like the government to put policies in place that allows farmers to be better aware of technology-enabled smart approaches in farming. This can be done as an offshoot of the much-publicised “Digital India” where there was added impetus on the adoption of digital technology.”

Technology Should Become Best Friend Of Farmers

Kumbhat also added that technology should become a farmer’s best friend. He said, “We envision a future where technology becomes the best companion of the farmer and provides them with the best productivity from their limited means. This can only be achieved by de-risking farming to impart the confidence to adopt the latest innovations and technology among the farmers, especially smallholders. Hope the government imparts the agritech sector necessary opportunities and incentives to grow as a robust sector within the country’s economy.”

In the last few years, agritech start-ups have taken great strides in helping the government meet its target of doubling farmers’ income.

Encourage Research And Development In Agriculture

Some experts believe that the government should invite more funds to enable research and development in the sectors that help agriculture. According to Navneet Ravikar, Chairman & Managing Director, Leads Connect, “A separate fund to be earmarked for Research and development in the field of Remote Sensing, UAV for crop yield estimation and crop claim management. State technical units to be earmarked funds for the purpose.”

He also said that a third party insurance committee should be formed to allow 100 per cent FDI in the crop insurance sector. Along with this, he also suggested that subsidies should be allocated for buying drones and other accessories for Agri research.

“Subsidy of 50% or 10 lacs whichever is less for buying drones and its accessories to be used for agri research to both research units and private sector agritech companies”, Ravikar said.

He also added that the government should subsidise the crop insurance premium further. According to Ravikar, the government should “Subsidize crop insurance premium to Rs.10 for all farmers (farmers share rest premium to be paid by the central government and state government in the ratio of 70:30) with landholding less than 1 hectare with compulsory coverage by all banks and FIs.”

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