Arun Jaitley presented the 2018-2019 budget and since then everybody has their opinion on the budget allocations and economic plans of this year. We have compiled a series of comments from the agricultural industry. Read ahead to know what they have to say.

“ Operation Green for vegetables is a welcome step by the government and the focus on exports of agricultural produce was much needed. The minimum support prices for crops have also been increased significantly in Budget 2018, which will benefit crores of farmers. However, better implementation is expected to improve crop yields. Equal focus on Make In India and Invent In India is an welcome initiative for the industry as well as farmers.”  said Mr Rajesh Aggarwal, MD, Insecticides (India) Limited.

Raju Barwale, Chairman and Managing Director, Mahyco mentions, “The Union Budget 2018 is very encouraging for the agriculture sector with several measures to ensure better post-harvest prices to farmers.  The laudable intent of the Union Government in doubling farmer’s income in the medium terms is amply expressed through key measures in this budget. Removing uncertainty in prices of agricultural produce is critical to give impetus to Indian agriculture. Government’s proposal of 1.5x Minimum Support Price (MSP) for all Kharif crops has the potential to provide 50% gross margin to farmers and this will send positive signal to market.  Government has shared its plan to fix a structure to ensure that farmers receive MSP when market prices are lower than MSP in consultation with Niti Aayog and state governments. This is another important step. Better price realization will fuel improved investment by farming community in quality inputs and practices to increase crop yield. With these measures, the entire ecosystem will be encouraged to invest in infrastructure and research & development initiatives to bring the best of innovations to Indian farmers.”

Mr. Hanmantrao Gaikwad, Chairman and Managing Director, BVG Life Sciences Limited and BVG India Limited made his comments,”I am happy to see the emphasis on agriculture, and allied sectors of fisheries and animal husbandry. Doubling income of farmers from the same land, by 2022 is an ambitious target. Now this will be within reach thanks to this budget allocation. By linking MSP to production cost, promoting cluster-model approach, along with the focus on bamboo, food processing, and market development, I see that the government is aiming to drive professionalism, standardization, and specialization in the agriculture sector. In the long run, this will strengthen the agriculture and allied sectors, and bring in more jobs into both rural and urban economies.”

Mr. Sandeep Sabharwal, CEO, SLCM Group  also expressed his views on the budget ,” The Budget has focused majorly on strengthening MSME and agricultural sectors along with a higher spend on infrastructure. These steps will cover the entire ecosystem of economy. As far as the agriculture sector and the farmers are concerned the increase of minimum support price (MSP) of all crops is a move towards Prime Minister’s vision of doubling farmers' income by 2022 and this augurs well for the agriculture value chain. Other laudable steps that will help the farming universe is connecting APMC’s to eNAM network, setting up Agri-Market Development Fund and adoption of cluster model approach. Also, the announcements made in the budget provide impetus to the food processing industry with allocation of Rs. 500 crore for ‘Operation Green’ to provide logistics, storage and other infrastructure support. All these indicate creation of a newer BHARAT, where the development is more inclusive.”

Shilpa Divekar Nirula, CEO, Monsanto India Region " The Union Budget 2018 has reiterated the government’s rural focus and its commitment towards India’s agriculture sector. Announcements through measures regarding farm output seem to be the key highlight. These include MSPs, improved market linkages and increased allocation towards the food processing sector. The continued emphasis on irrigation and farm insurance will provide further impetus to help farmers manage risks associated with cultivation. An unbridled focus on agriculture coupled with enabling policies will go a long way in benefitting the larger farming community. These initiatives if complemented with enabling policies would go a long way in achieving the government’s target of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022."

 “The budget is on the expected lines since this was the last budget of the current tenure of Narendra Modi-led government. As Finance Minister mentioned this budget is pro people and pro farmers. The thrust on agriculture and health related schemes and provisions will have a trickledown effect on various other sectors too. Operation Greens which has been allocated a sum of Rs. 500 crore is a good start. However, use of cold chains and solar powered dryers could have been incentivized. Nonetheless, the emphasis on building a research driven economy through Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme is commendable, and is a right step in the direction of building an innovation driven economy. Policies such as imposing customs duty on electronics and electrical products will boost indigenous manufacturing and fuel more employment opportunities.” Said Ajay Durrani, Managing Director, Covestro India.                                                                                                                                                                           

Mr. Sujay Ojha, Advisor to Weather Risk Management Services Pvt. Ltd. mentions about the  Agriculture production and technology on post Budget 2018, “ The budget 2018 has created an optimistic environment for the farmers and agriculture and given the impetus which so far was lacking. The government has surely ensured that the sector was one of the top priorities. There is operation green fund, a fund for improving cold chain facilities, MSP has increased to 1.5 times by which farmer gets better sale proceeds, credit facilities have increased. There is also separate fund for fisheries and animal husbandry sector.  Farmer producer organizations have been given the much-needed tax cuts and incentive. Kisan credit card scheme has been extended to other sectors.

The budget 2018 is a “Game changer”. It is pro-farmer, pro-agriculture, pro-poor.  Infact, it is a true pro-republic and pro-India budget when we talk of the larger picture. The budget has also inter-linked various segments. The government has done a big job



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