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Budget 2019 a mixed bag for farm industry: Experts

Business Finance

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Farm experts and industry bodies gave mixed response to the first budget of the Modi 2.0 government saying it failed to address key areas like oilseeds while giving thrust to fishery and other allied agricultural activities.

Edible oil industry body Solvent Extractors Association of India (SEA) expressed disappointment saying it was expecting a package to boost oilseeds output and processing after the government substantially hiked the support price of oilseeds.

"The 2019 Union budget had little for Indian farmer," said Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) Director General Ram Kaundinya adding that the seed industry had expected more with regard to inclusion of new technologies to address agricultural distress.

KisanKraft Ltd CEO and Director Ankit Chitalia said, "while the government's emphasis to improve economies of scale at a broad level is appreciated, it is disappointing to see lack of clarity and information with respect to on ground developments in agriculture."

He further noted that the "current state of negligence, if not addressed, will result in a negative trajectory of the agriculture sector".

MicroSave Consulting (MSC) Director Manoj K Sharma said: "NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Agriculture will have to revisit the eNAM structure to make it useful for traders, and transparent and remunerative for farmers. Well-functioning markets will be the key factor that can address farm distress and double farmer income."

Welcoming the new scheme to boost fish processing, Ajay Kakra of PwC India said, bringing allied sector such as fisheries in focus can help the development of fishing communities and fisheries as an occupation."

He noted that the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries is also an excellent initiative.

Welcoming the proposal to create 10,000 more Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), Syngenta India Chief Sustainability Officer KC Ravi said, "only watch-out here would be to look more closely on implementation as many of the FPOs created thus far have not been able to achieve the very objective of improving the collective bargaining power of the farming community."

CropIn CEO Kunal Prasad said, "The finance minister has taken a positive and cautious approach for this fiscal."

"The proposed steps to double the farmer's income is a herculean task. Given our experience, public and private partnerships have the complete potential to translate the herculean task to a vincible one that would assist the Central and the State governments," he added.

Cargill India Senior Advisor and former Chairman Siraj Chaudhry said, "It is in some ways a continuation of the interim budget where lot more was shared on welfare measures for farmers, health insurance and pension."

More emphasis has now been laid on improving the living conditions and support for the medium and small industries, start-ups and agri-entrepreneurship, he said.

"Given that the time to prepare this budget was limited the detailing of a number of initiatives may not yet be clear," he observed.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, July 05 2019. 19:05 IST