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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 2.37 lakh crore towards direct payments for minimum support price (MSP) to farmers growing wheat and paddy, while presenting her fourth budget in Parliament Tuesday. She said the government will also promote the use of 'Kisan Drones' for crop assessment, digitisation of land records, and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced Rs 2.37 lakh crore towards direct payments for minimum support price (MSP) to farmers growing wheat and paddy. Sitharaman said the MSP payments would be made to the farmers between April 2022 to March 2023.
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Sitharaman also said the estimated procurement of wheat in Rabi 2021-22 and the procurement of Kharif in 2021-22 will cover over 1,208 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and paddy. This would come from over 160 lakh farmers and Rs 2.37 lakh crore direct payment of MSP value to their accounts, she added.
The government will also promote chemical-free natural farming, Sitharaman announced while presenting her fourth union budget. She said the scheme will focus on farmers' lands in 5-km wide corridors along the river Ganga in its first stage.
She also announced the delivery of digital and high tech services to farmers. The government plans to involve public sector research, private agri-tech players, and stakeholders of agri-value chain and extension institutions. She said, "a scheme in PPP mode will be launched."
The government will also promote the use of 'Kisan Drones' for crop assessment, digitisation of land records, and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.
The government is also seeking to finance startups for agriculture and rural enterprise, It will launch a fund with blended capital raised under the co-investment model via NABARD. "The activities for these startups will include, inter alia, support for FPOs, machinery for farmers on rental basis at farm level, and technology including IT-based support," Sitharaman added.
The government is also implementing the Ken-Betwa Link Project, which is expected to cost over Rs 44,600 crore. The project will provide irrigation benefits to over 9 lakh hectares of farmers' lands, drinking water supply for over 60 lakh people, over 100 mega-watts of hydro and 27 megawatts of solar power.
"Allocations of Rs 4,300 crore in RE 2021-22 and Rs 1,400 crore in 2022-23 have been made for this project," Sitharaman told Parliament.
The government, in collaboration with states, will also provide a comprehensive package to adopt a suitable variety of fruits and vegetables, to use appropriate production, and harvesting techniques.
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(Edited by : Yashi Gupta)