PM Modi has boosted the agricultural budget to about 1.25 lakh crore since 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a virtual post-budget webinar on ‘Agriculture and Cooperatives’ on Friday, during which he emphasised the importance of the agricultural sector in the Union Budget 2023-24 as well as the budgets of the previous 8-9 years.
PM Modi took a swipe at the previous administration, saying, “The agricultural budget, which was less than 25,000 crore in 2014, has climbed to more than 1,25,000 crore today.” He claimed that all budgets issued by the Modi 1.0 and 2.0 governments were geared towards “Gaon, Gareeb, and Kisan.”
When highlighting India’s external dependence on food security, Prime Minister Modi remarked that “India’s agriculture industry remained distressed for a long time after independence.”
He emphasised how India’s farmers transformed the situation by not only achieving ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-sufficiency) but also the ability to export cereal grains. “India exports a variety of agricultural products today,” the prime minister remarked as he elaborated on the government’s efforts to make domestic and international markets accessible to farmers.
During his talk, he praised the introduction of the PM PRANAM Yojana and Gobardhan Yojana and discussed how the government was trying to promote natural farming and reduce chemical-based farming.
PM Modi further stressed that India’s goal should not be limited to rice or wheat when it comes to self-sufficiency or export while emphasizing that various decisions were being continuously taken in the budget to promote the agricultural sector so that the nation becomes ‘atmanirbhar’ and the money used for imports can reach to the farmers.
“Unless the agricultural sector’s issues are resolved, the objective of total development cannot be attained. Private innovation and investment are avoiding this sector, which contributes to the poor participation of India’s youth in the agricultural industry in comparison to other sectors that experience active participation and growth. To address this gap, a number of announcements have been made in this year’s budget, according to the prime minister.
PM Modi drew a comparison to the open platform of UPI and discussed the usage of the ‘Digital Public Infrastructure’ platform in the agriculture sector, highlighting the vast investment and innovation opportunities in agri-tech areas. The Prime Minister urged young entrepreneurs to press forward and achieve their goals while pointing out that India is now home to more than 3000 agri-startups compared to almost nothing nine years ago.
On the International Year of Millets (2023), which was designated by the United Nations in response to a proposal from India, Prime Minister Modi stated that its international character will provide Indian farmers with access to the worldwide market.
“A new revolution is taking place in the cooperative sector of India,” Prime Minister Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi shifted the focus to the fisheries sector and stated, “Fish production in the country has increased by almost 70 lakh metric tonnes over the past eight to nine years. “A new sub-component has been introduced under the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana at a cost of 6,000 crores that will strengthen the fisheries value chain and market.”
This fiscal year’s projected budget allocation for the ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare, which includes agricultural education and research, is approximately 1.25 lakh crore. This includes a contribution of Rs. 60,000 crores towards the Modi government’s PM-Kisan initiative. The agricultural loan target for the animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries sectors has been boosted to 20 lakh crores.