Agriculture World

Union Budget 2020: Sitharaman Announces 16-point Action Plan to Boost Agri-Sector & Doubling Farmer’s Income

Pronami Chetia
Pronami Chetia

Agriculture has been under tremendous pressure since the last year despite the several commitments and schemes promised and proposed by the Modi government. Amid this agriculture slowdown, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announces 16- point action plan to boost and revive agriculture Sector back into action. The government is committed to doubling farmers' income by 2022 and the budget aims to boost the income of people and enhance their purchasing power, said Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech. Moreover, agriculture credit target has been set at 15 Lakh Core where all eligible beneficiaries of PM Kisan will be covered under the Kisan Credit Card Scheme.

Announcing 16 action points plan for farmers, towards the goal of doubling farmer’s income she said that these measures are underlined by the FM for the agriculture sector.

Laying down the 16-Action Point formula for the agriculture sector, Sitharaman said the Centre will encourage states to take up modern agriculture laws including the Land Leasing Act 2016. She also proposed comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts.

Introduce Kisan Express & Krishi Udan

To connect farm with markets, Sitharaman said railways will introduce a Kisan Express and Ministry of Civil Aviation will launch Krishi Udaan to help farmers transport perishable goods quickly.

The Kisan Rail will be set up through PPP (public-private partnership) arrangement to transport perishable goods across the country at a faster pace. She said the railways will build a cold supply chain for milk, meat and fish by setting up train services for the purpose.

Lack of efficient market connectivity has been the bane for farmers growing produce in their fields. In her Budget 2020 speech, Sitharaman stressed the point with a suggestion saying, "Farm markets need to be liberalized. Farming needs to be made more competitive. Handholding of farm-based activities needs to be provided.

Sustainable cropping patterns and more technology are needed in agriculture, she added.

Moreover, the Union Budget 2020 mainly focused on doubling farmer’s income by 20202, PM Kisan, Solar Pump Yojana. "The government will help 20 lakh farmers for setting up standalone solar pumps and another 15 lakh farmers to set up solar irrigation facilities. Farmers with silos and barren land will be helped to set up solar power units which can be sold through the grid," she said.

This will be done under PM Kusum Scheme, which is already under execution. The scheme will be expanded to enable farmers to set solar power generation and to sell to the power grids.

Farmer's barren land would be used for setting up solar power plants. Now, the farmers can generate solar power and sell it to grids. Sitharaman expressed hopes that these initiatives are being taken with the intent to double farmers' income by 2022.

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