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Budget 2023 Special: Eminent Agri Experts Get Candid on ‘Agribusiness Insights with Vijay Sardana’ at KJ Studio, New Delhi


Agriculture experts and stakeholders reacted to the Budget 2023 announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the ‘Agribusiness Insights with Vijay Sardana’, where the techno legal expert hosted a special episode in association with Krishi Jagran to discuss the agriculture budget 2023 with prominent personalities.

Binita Kumari
Panelists at the Agribusiness Insights with Vijay Sardana show
Panelists at the Agribusiness Insights with Vijay Sardana show

The special episode featured three sessions each focusing on a different segment of agriculture from seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, farm mechanization, livestock, investments, and more. Here are the highlights of the panel discussions.

Highlights of Session One:

The first session was moderated by Vijay Sardana on the topic 'agri inputs' with Yudhveer, General Secretary of the Indian Farmers Union, Arvind Chowdhary, DG of Fertilizer Association of India, Arvind Kapur, MD of ACSEN HyVeg, Kalyan Goswami, Director General of Agro Chem Federation of India.

Sharing his thoughts on Sitharaman’s Budget 2023, Arvind Chowdhary said,” This is the first budget of Amritkal. The priority of the budget predicts that the country's GDP will go up to 7 percent. Maximum attention has been paid to the agriculture sector in this budget and due to the success of the scheme in the agriculture sector, the government has extended the "PM Kisan Garib Kalyan Yojana" for a period of one year. However, there has been no change in the Farmer Direct Benefit Transfer in agriculture.

He further said that the government’s decision to move towards green fertilizer is a big initiative that will prove to bring positive results. Referring to Govardhan Yojana, he said that farmers will now be motivated to use bio-fertilizer more.

Arvind Kapur reacted to the budget announcement by saying, “The government has put a lot of focus on quality plant material in this budget. Seeds are highly important for farmers, and this step of the government to provide seeds to every farmer is very commendable. If the seed can produce a good yield without any fertilizers, then we will produce such seeds for the farmers which do not require any kind of chemical to fight diseases.

He further said that the private sector controls 75 percent of the seed supply system and farmers get all the advanced seeds on time. The government is currently promoting traditional seeds which will greatly benefit both sectors.

Talking about boosting the agriculture sector, Kalyan Goswami said, “Budget 2023 is highly important for the agriculture sector. A lot of thought has been given to rural development, as well. Farmers earn only 21 rupees every day from conventional agriculture, but now the government is giving 6 thousand rupees annually to the farmers under PM Samman Nidhi. The agricultural credit target has been increased to 20 lakh crores with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries, which will lead people toward the agriculture sector.

Farmer leader Yudhveer said that “On one hand the government is talking about natural farming, and on the other hand, it is talking about GM seeds, making their statements contradictory. The government will have to provide clarity on this.

On the announcement of free food grains, he said that while the government is providing free food grains to 84 crore people since the Covid-19 pandemic started, money does not make food grains; farmers produce food grains, and so the credit should be given to those farmers who fought during the Covid-19 pandemic. The government should appreciate their contribution.

Highlights of Session Two:

The topic of discussion for the second session was Post Harvest Process” with Vijay Sardana as the moderator and Hiten Suri, MD of Suri Agrofresh Pvt Limited, Pradipta Kumar Sahu, Chief Strategy Officer of Mother Dairy, and Vice President of Asia Pacific, Debrabrata Sarkar were the panelists.

Hiten Suri started the panel discussion by saying, “The government has allocated a budget of 1000 crores to build a warehouse for the maintenance of crops. This will save our farmers from post-harvest losses. Development of agriculture infrastructure was also mentioned in this budget which is a commendable effort.”

Rajesh Srivastava said that in the coming days, the private sector will grow to become a huge part of this country’s GDP. Apart from this, he also said that in the future 5 to 6 billion dollars will be an investment in the agriculture sector. He complained that banks in our country do not provide any assistance to agriculture and said that more is needed to be done in this matter.

In the panel discussion, Harsh Bhanwala said that if the government wants to support farmers and their families, it must do so through agriculture. More effort is needed to create jobs in the agriculture sector. Apart from this, he also said that the majority of the focus of the entire budget has gone into digitalizing agriculture, if this works then digitalization will prove to be highly beneficial to farmers.

Adding to Bhanwala’s thoughts, Ashudeep Garg said that the digitalization of agriculture is a good initiative and will take agriculture to the next level. However, for all these initiatives and programs to continue, government corporations will be needed.

Bimal Kumar said that drones will prove to help reduce labor costs and provide more efficient work. It will be no less than a boon for the farmers in the agriculture sector. Drones will prove to be a huge factor in India’s growing GDP.

Ravi Pokharna said that increasing unemployment is the biggest problem in the country. He said that there are no jobs of any kind available in remote villages. The government should pay maximum attention to the farmers and rural areas of the country for the Indian economy to grow.

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