PUNE: To achieve the goal of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022, the finance minister listed a 16 point action plan for farmers and a total budget of Rs 2.83 lakh crore was allocated for agriculture and allied activities, irrigation and rural development.
However, the experts have given a mixed reaction, calling it a vague budget.
Former vice-chancellor of Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth Akola, Venkat Mayande said, “It is a vague budget and they have not specified separate budget allocation for various schemes. Agriculture has a lot of potentials but still, the investment is lacking and there was no mention of research and development, which is very important.”
All India Kisan Sabha, Maharashtra, General Secretary, Ajit Navale said, “The FM announced to set up warehouses at village level for agricultural storage, same were announced last year. However, the implementation did not happen and they copy-pasted the same thing.”
Navale added that the 16 points that were announced for doubling farmers’ income by 2022 lack assurance of fair rate for the farmers’ produce.
Managing Director of MahaFPC, the umbrella body for farmer producer companies in Maharashtra, Yogesh Thorat said, “The structural changes through agricultural marketing reforms, contract farming, land lease seems to be unachievable due to present Centre and State relations and constitutional framework. Engagement of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode warehouses will not address small and marginal farmers’ post-harvest problems.”
“The Budget has opened agriculture credit business for Non-Banking Financial Companies. Now, it is interesting to see that how cost effective lending will be done through these organisation,” added Thorat.
One district, one crop scheme initiated to develop horticulture
- The budget mentions the expansion of integrated farming system for the rainfed area but there was no roadmap for that.
- “Krishi Udan scheme will be helpful for the farmers as it can help in boosting export,” said the former VC of Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth in Rahuri, Rajaram Deshmukh.
- Kisan Rail for the transportation of perishable goods welcomed.
- ‘One district one crop’ initiative to develop horticulture has also been welcomed.
Good news for fisheries
- Announcements for allied activities formation of 500 fish farmer producing companies, was well received. Pandit Chavan who is practising fish culture since 1992 near Pune, feels it is a great move that will empower the fisheries sector. He said, “Fisheries sector was often neglected and it is a great move that there will be fish farmers producer companies which will bring the farmers together as presently they are scattered. This will also boost the overall sector.”