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Union Funds 2021: Farm innovation fund necessary to make stronger agri-tech solutions, startups, enhance innovation


The agriculture sector accounts for conclude to 16 p.c of the country’s GDP, uses almost about half of the accessible land, consumes round 80 p.c of the freshwater sources, and engages practically 50 p.c of the country’s group. Roughly 70 p.c of the rural households still count primarily on agriculture, with conclude to 80 p.c of farmers being little and marginal. Even supposing the hot COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges for heaps of sectors of the Indian economy, agriculture and allied activities demonstrated unprecedented resilience. The accessible statistics enhance the functionality of India’s agriculture sector to back fiscal enhance. Nonetheless, adherence to a inclined technique and unscientific farming solutions still loom huge over the agricultural situation.

Funds 2021 is a window for the policymakers to actively identify and poise volumetric targets with sustainability while nice looking up the label chain to crimson meat up farmer and nationwide earnings.

Agricultural productiveness through micro-irrigation

As of 2020, out of the 141 million hectares of cultivated land, 51 p.c of the land is below irrigation and inside of this, handiest about 16 p.c (11 million hectares) be pleased glean admission to to plain irrigation technology. The federal government info advocate that within the year 2019-20, handiest 11.72 lakh hectares were covered below micro-irrigation.  The hot aim is to popularize the utilization of micro-irrigation technology by overlaying further 10 million hectares of land in 5 years. To discontinue this ambitious aim and make contributions towards making the sphere self-reliant, it’s imperative that the government areas a mechanism to guarantee that a steady trot with the run of funds, thereby guaranteeing ample utilisation by the tip-beneficiary.

Particular budgetary assistance for micro-irrigation

The monetary drive attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic has left many states across the country to reduce the associated price range for micro-irrigation. Policymakers ought to net in mind supporting the states through an further corpus of funds both by divulge special assistance program or increasing the brand new Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) prepare below NABARD to facilitate states in mobilising sources for increasing protection of micro-irrigation.

Irrigation subsidy

The delays within the disbursal of micro-irrigation subsidies below the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) program are hampering its development. Online portal for an halt-to-halt process execution and visibility, transparency within the process for fund disbursement, guaranteeing checkpoints at a host of levels and adherence to timelines would bring the efficiency in subsidy disbursal and make stronger farmers to be debt-free in a faster technique. SOPs to scheme the district-incandescent annual development and penetration of micro-irrigation would act as an instrumental measure.

Water budgeting for all of the village could be created below the model village program and executing District Irrigation Plans (DIP) to push PMKSY objectives on the district level would work in inspire. The set up of micro-irrigation could be geo-tagged to glean true-time info yearly. All these measures would back to guarantee that faster transmission of funds to the beneficiaries. Infrastructure set of abode would reduction the micro-irrigation producer (95 p.c of which comes below MSME) in lowered working charges, thereby accelerating the replace enhance as successfully as bring the instruments label down for the farmer community.

Aligning assorted schemes

Level of curiosity on renewable energy worship solar will now not handiest guarantee that energy security particularly in agriculture and the rural landscape nonetheless also address environmental considerations. Making farmers energy-ample would also decrease the burden on government energy subsidy invoice. Solar set up-a lot agriculture would reduction farmers with lowered operational charges, enhance land utilisation and enhance general earnings. Additionally, making micro-irrigation necessary for subsidised solar installations at particular particular person farms would lead to a faster adaption of standard farming ways.

Diversification applications to amplify productiveness

Round 12 p.c of the cropped situation below Fruits and Greens (F and V) ends in 24 p.c in label terms, now not like 13 p.c situation below oilseeds which offers handiest 6 p.c in label terms on account of lack of scalability. Addressing the domestic count on for fit to be eaten oils, it’s inevitable to promote domestic oilseeds and oil palm cultivation with bigger productiveness measures. Equally, rice which has been the vital chop each and every when it comes to situation protection and water utilization would possibly possibly even be disrupted through drip technology intervention which could enhance yield, attach water and decrease carbon emissions.

Level of curiosity on organising infrastructures

Particular focal point and fund allocation within the upcoming Funds for infrastructure in rural areas would make stronger the digitalisation of agriculture and build the agriculture sector on the brief-tune. At this time, India is spending now not as a lot as 1 p.c of aagriculture GDP in R and D. An agriculture innovation fund, which supports agri-tech solutions, startups and digitalisation at assorted levels of the agriculture label chain can became the agriculture economy within the future.

Pastime subsidy on agriculture

Entry to credit rating stays one amongst the necessary aspects in a sustainable and further importantly a rising ecosystem. Pastime subsidy on agriculture for lengthy-term loans to aid farmers with lengthy-term funding in farming and micro-irrigation instruments or infrastructure advent associated to farming can trot a lengthy technique in constructing a sustainable constructing model in agriculture. Credit rating Guarantee Fund Scheme for adopting micro-irrigation the same to Credit rating Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Slight Enterprises for MSMEs could be invaluable the set preliminary make stronger would possibly possibly even be offered by the government.

The author is Managing Director, Netafim India and Senior Vice President, Netafim Ltd

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