Post Budget Quote On Agriculture

Mr. Ritwik Bahuguna,Mr. Ritwik Bahuguna, Director, Farlense & Mr. AP Sinha, Director of Farlense Group

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According to Mr. Ritwik Bahuguna, Director, Farlense Group, “The allocation for the agriculture sector has increased by about Rs. 2000 crores but has declined marginally as a percentage of the total budget. Noteworthy has been the focus on adding value in the agricultural sector through enhanced allocation for the food processing sector, which now stands at Rs. 3290 crores, up by almost Rs. 400 crores this year. The allocation for PMFME is up by almost Rs. 250 crores at Rs. 880 crores. The intent here is to further boost the micro enterprise segment, farmgate infrastructure and strengthen the SHG/FP0 network, especially from the market linkage perspective. The reduction in allocation for PMKSY to Rs. 729 crores is disappointing since sub-schemes under this like Integrated Cold Chain Development and CEFPPC have performed well in the last 5 years and have many takers and long queues for government approval. CEFPPC is also very important since it has revived the fortunes of the Mega Food Parks scheme, where a lot of government money has already been invested without much impact till 2015-16. On a positive note, the increased allocation of Rs 1,444 crores under the PLI Scheme will continue benefitting medium and large enterprises as they expand their manufacturing and marketing footprint within and outside India. The announcement of a dedicated fund with no/low-interest and long repayment tenure in deep tech may give some hope to the struggling ag-tech industry in India.”

“The 2024-2025 Interim Budget’s strategy for Amrit Kaal in Agriculture and Food Processing marks a significant milestone,” asserts Mr. AP Sinha, Director of Farlense Group. “With a focus on promoting private and public investment in post-harvest activities, and the comprehensive program for dairy development and the implementation of the PM Fasal Beema Yojna highlight the government’s commitment to bolstering the dairy sector and providing financial security to farmers. However, introducing nano DAP amidst limited acceptance of nano urea poses a challenge in widespread farmer adoption. The ambitious oilseed program, calling for a 250% production increase, demands not just enhanced productivity but also expanded cultivation areas. Given current land constraints due to climate change, achieving this goal, while essential, will require significant effort.”