Agriculture World

Here’s what Agriculture Sector Want in Budget 2020 to Overcome Farm Distress

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Amid a painful economic slowdown, the citizens are expecting a strong reform in the forthcoming budget 2020 to stimulate the growth of a slowdown economy, falling GDP, financial crisis and farmers' distress across the nation. Agriculture is the major sector which needs utmost attention to revive the economic slowdown while the government is dreaming of a $5 trillion economy and fulfill the promise of farmers doubling income by 2022. Sustainable profitability of farmers, proper warehouse management, rising farmers' suicide cases is some of the major issues which need serious attention.

The upcoming Budget allocations will be important in determining the growth of GDP, fixing the financial sector woes, reviving consumer sentiment, fixing all agriculture and farmers' crisis. Hence, reforms in agriculture are the prime expectation in the forthcoming budget which will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February. We have prepared some of the areas that are most likely to be the recipients of budgetary grants this time and need the utmost attention. 

Proper Agro warehousing and a Nation-Wide Market

Proper storage facilities and warehouses have been a curse for the farmer even after so much of toil in fields and bumper harvests. As per reports, the Budget is expected to bring in reforms for rural warehousing and cold storages, along with logistics in rural areas which has been suggested repeatedly -- with a view to improving farmers’ reach. Given the low margin at play, we see the 2020-21 Budget offering incentives and subsidies for warehouses and cold storages.

Sustainable Profitability VS Immediate Relief

Modi government has initiated a long list of agricultural schemes and farm loan waiver scheme to double farmer’s income and provide immediate relief to the farmers during the last budget. But these schemes hardly able to offer sustainable profitability to the farmers rather than providing immediate relief. Proper warehouse and cold storage, infrastructure, E-Mandis and platforms, safety measures from natural calamities are the prime sectors that were not covered by the government schemes. Moreover, small marginal farmers are left out from these schemes, say reports. 

Loan Waiver Scheme and Farmer Suicide

As per official data of NCRB, 3,53,802 farm suicides have taken place in India between 1995 to 2018. Although the government has initiated many loan waiver schemes to provide immediate relief to the debt-ridden farmers in last year but fails miserably due to improper implementation and lack of proper study in the issue. 

Crop insurance

Agrarian distress due to damaged crops has been a major roadblock to rural development over the years. Crop insurance is one solution to ensure protection against untimely adverse weather conditions. Keeping this in mind, we believe that the Budget would provide subsidy for Agri insurance companies to ensure insurance penetration in rural India.

Irrigation and Water Issue

Although the government has launched the Solar Pump Scheme under PM KUSUM Scheme during the union budget of 2018-19, it hardly able to eradicate the water and irrigation issues across the nation. 

Crop procurement and improving farmer’s income

Post the much-hyped higher MSP (minimum support price) and the overall failure in the implementation of the same; we expect the government to set aside more resources to improve crop procurement and earnings of farmers.

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