Terming revival of agriculture sector as key priority for the Government, the Finance Minister has planned for a technology-driven second Green Revolution that would focus on higher productivity in the sector.
What are the plans:
The Government will focus on achieving 4 per cent growth per year in the sector through Blue Revolution, Protein Revolution, the plan was originally set by UPA but failed to achieve during the past two regimes.
With an aim to increase competition and integrate markets, the Government has planned to create a national market for agricultural produce. In addition, States will be consulted to change APMC Acts to develop Farmers' Markets so that farmers can sell their produce directly.
Finance Minister gave a fresh push for restructuring the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
Budget earmarked Rs 1,000 crore to launch Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojan.
Establishment of scientific warehousing infrastructure at a cost of Rs 5, 000 crore which will help in reducing wastage in agricultural supply chain.
500 crore to Price Stabilisation Fund for shielding farmers against volatility in commodity prices.
Rs 100 crore to undertake a mission mode scheme to provide soil health card to each farmer. Additionally, Rs 56 crore to set up 100 mobile soil testing labs across the country.
Irrigation facility to be enhanced:
To improve irrigation system and dependency on monsoon, the Government has proposed a Rs 1,000 crore outlay for a new scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana.
Financial help to farmers:
The Government has set a target of Rs 800,000 crore for agriculture credit during 2014-15.
To benefit landless farmers, finances to 5 lakh joint farming groups of "Bhoomi Heen Kisan" through NABARD will be given in the current financial year. In addition, FM announced to provide Rs 200 crore to NABARD for "building 2,000 producers organisations".
The FM announced that the Interest Subvention Scheme for short term crop loans will be continued this year. Under this scheme, banks give loans to farmers at a concessional rate of 7% and give a further incentive of 3% for timely repayment.
Vision also includes TV channel and agricultural institutes:
A 24-hour television channel, Kisan TV, has been proposed to set up for Rs 100 crore to empower the farmers with relevant information.
The Government has planned to establish two institutions on the lines of Indian Agricultural Research Institutes (Delhi) in Assam and Jharkhand at an investment of Rs 100 crore.
Agriculture Universities in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Horticulture Universities in Telangana and Haryana are proposed to establish with investment of Rs 200 crore.