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11 steps taken by FM Nirmala Sitharaman for the agrarian economy

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today announced a third set of stimulus measures, aiming to "put money into the hands of farmers" with plans to help agriculture infrastructure

Nirmala Sitharaman | agriculture economy | Lockdown

Sukanya Roy  |  New Delhi 

Finance Minister today announced a third set of stimulus measures, aiming to "put money into the hands of farmers" with plans to help agriculture infrastructure, dairy, fisheries, food processing and animal husbandry

Well, the first eight measures were related to strengthening infrastructure, capacities, logistics

1. Fist one deals with farm-gate infrastructure, cold chains, etc

Rs 1 trillion will be provided for aggregators, primary agriculture cooperative organisations, farmer producer organisations. Not only this will be strengthening farm-gate infrastructure, but will also improve Storage and boost exports.

income is also expected to increase with this initiative.

2. Second is regarding food organisations which is micro in size

FM announced Rs 10,000-crore fund for formalisation of local products. Health and wellness, nutritious, organic products to be pushed in an organised manner — through tech upgrade, brand-building.This will be a cluster-based approach. 200,000 producers to benefit by this.

3. Third announcement was for Logistics and other facilities for marine, aquaculture, fisheries

The initiative is named Pradhan Manti Matsya Sampada Yojana which worth Rs 20,000 crore. Rs 11,000 crore will be allocated for aquaculture development. Rs 9,000 crore to be invested in laboratories, fishing harbours, and fishing equipment to be provided. With this 5.5 million jobs expected to be created. Insurance for persons and boats will also be provided. Well, 7 million tonnes of additional marine produce expected through these measures

4. Fourth measure aims to provide 100% vaccination of all cattle.

This measure is announced by FM for eradicating foot and mouth diseases. Rs 13,343 crore to be invested in this and 530 million animals to benefit by this

5. Measures for animal husbandry, dairy farmers

Rs 15,000 crore to be spent on and dairy infrastructure building. Well, this is done for encouraging Private investment.Cattle feed infrastructure to be built for domestic use and exports and incentives will be given for setting up healthy processing plants

6. FM's sixth announcement relates to promotion of cultivation of herbal and medicinal plants

Rs 4,000 crore allocated for this purpose. A corridor for growing herbal and medicinal plants to be created on 800 hectares of area on both sides of the Ganga. 1 million hectares will be brought under cultivation. And with this move Govt aims to

generate Rs 5,000 crore of additional income for Network of regional mandis will also be created.

7. Next steps are for bee-keeping

Rs 500-crore scheme provided to promote bee-keeping. 200,000 bee-keepers to benefit with this. Quality of honey produce will improve and this move will help in producing wax, and reduce its import

8. Eight one deals with which will build supply chains for farmers

Additional Rs 500 crore to be spend on building logistics and storage facility. Well this will be extended beyond tomato, potato, onion and include other vegetables and fruits. This is a six-month pilot project; decision to be taken based on the success of the pilot project. 50% subsidy on transportation and 50% subsidy on storage cost will be provided.

Now, next three steps are governance and administrative reforms

9. This is one of the big steps taken today. Essential Commodities Act, 1955, will be amended. Onions, potatoes, pulses, edible oils, cereals to be completely deregulated. Stock limits will be invoked only under exceptional situations.

Food processing industry will benefit by this. While, prices will remain unaffected by exigencies, their income will get a boost. Agri investment will get a fillip

10. Tenth announcement by FM was that farmers will now get a choice to sell at attractive price

Central law to be brought to provide farmers the choice to sell at best price. Barriers in inter-state trade to be lifted

Provisions will be brought to enable e-trading.

11. Last steps relate to the Legal structure that will provide assured returns to farmers

Legal framework to be brought in to ensure a fixed fair price for farmers even before they start sowing. Farmers at present do not have a standard mechanism to charge a predictable price. Well this move will improve income and standard of living of farmers.Farmers will be able to deal with aggregators and other intermediaries in a risk-free transparent manner

First Published: Fri, May 15 2020. 19:59 IST