Union Budget 2015: What it offers for agriculture sector

A target to achieve Rs 8.5 lakh crore for the farm credit through bank network will provide much needed credit to the farming community.

Ajay Kakra        Last Updated: March 2, 2015  | 14:31 IST

Ajay Kakra
Hits

  • Soil health: Soil health is one of the factors for sustainable agriculture production, and will help in better nutrient management.
  • Farm credit: The focus on farm credit continues to be a priority of the government. A target to achieve Rs 8.5 lakh crore for the farm credit through bank network will provide much needed credit to the farming community.
  • Irrigation: Irrigation for each farm is possible only through the involvement of innovative microirrigation techniques knowing the scope and limitation of irrigation potential. The emphasis of the government is in the right direction.
  • Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF): The details need to be analysed after going through the fine prints on how the government will pursue it.
  • National Agriculture Market: This is the policy reform very much desired in the agriculture market. There is increase in domestic trade and interstate movement of agriculture produce. It will have far reaching consequence in developing the agriculture market trade, level of intermediation, price stability and better realisation for the farmers.
  • Service tax exemption on pre-cold storage infrastructure to generate value addition for fruits & vegetable value chain.

Misses

  • Food processing sector: The Budget remained silent.
  • Agro exports: It is one of the important thrust area where India is placed well and can attain greater international competitiveness if adequate support is provided.
  • Crop insurance: Bringing insurance facilities for the farmers is one of the desirable aspects which was, however, not covered under the current Budget.
  • Cold chain and warehouse: Though government has talked about RIDF, it has not specified anything on this vital infrastructure for the agriculture sector.

(The author is Associate Director, Agri & Natural Resources, PwC India)

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