Agriculture budget enhanced by 74.5%: Radha Mohan Singh

Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Friday said that, with an aim to double farmers’ income, the budget outlay of the agriculture sector has been enhanced by 74.5% to Rs 2,11,694 crore during 2014-2019 as compared to Rs 1,21,082 crore during 2009-2014.

On the occasion of inauguration ceremony of Krishi Kumbh 2018 organised in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, he said that the Government is implementing various schemes to ensure higher gains for farmers. The Soil Health Card (SHC) ensures judicious use of fertilizer application thus saving money for farmers. Neem-coated urea is being promoted as it enhances availability of nitrogen to the crop and reduces cost of fertilizer application. Paramparagat  Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is being implemented with a view to promote organic farming in the country.  This will improve soil health and organic matter content, and by receiving premium prices, net income of farmer will also increase. Realizing the possibility of organic farming in the northeast, Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCD-NER) has been initiated.

He added that the National Agriculture Market scheme (e-NAM) has revolutionized agri-markets by ensuring better price discovery, bringing in transparency and competition in order to enable farmers to get better remuneration for their produce thereby moving towards ‘One Nation One Market.’ The Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAMs), electronically linked to e-NAM portal and exempted from regulations of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs), provides farmers facility to make direct sale to consumers and bulk purchasers. Giving further boost to farmers’ income, the government also increased MSP of all Kharif and Rabi crops for 2018-19 season by at least 150% of the cost of production.

Radha Mohan said that Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) & Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWCIS) provide insurance cover at all stages of the crop cycle including post-harvest risks to farmers at very low rates of premium. The government provides total interest subvention up to 5% (inclusive of 3% prompt repayment incentive) on short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh. Thus, loan is available to farmers at a reduced rate of 4% per annum on prompt repayment.