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Agricultural budget increased to over ₹1.25 lakh crore since 2014: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday virtually addressed the post-budget webinar on ‘Agriculture and Cooperatives’ in which he highlighted the importance given to the agricultural sector in the Union Budget 2023-24 as well as budgets of the past 8-9 years.

Stating that all budgets announced in the Modi 1.0 and 2.0 government were inclined towards ‘Gaon, Gareeb and Kisan’, PM Modi took a pot-shot at the previous regime saying, “The agricultural budget which was less than ₹25,000 crore in 2014 has been increased to more than ₹1,25,000 crore today.”

While pointing out India’s foreign dependence on food security, PM Modi noted that for a long time since independence, “India’s agricultural sector remained distressed.”

He highlighted how India’s farmers transformed the situation by not only making the nation ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) but also capable of exporting food grains. “Today India is exporting many types of agricultural products”, the PM said as he shed light on the efforts of the government to make domestic and international markets accessible to the farmers.

During his address, he hailed the announcement of the PM PRANAM Yojana and Gobardhan Yojana and spoke of how the government was working towards promoting natural farming and reducing 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.

“The goal of complete development cannot be achieved until the challenges related to the agriculture sector are eliminated. Private innovation and investment are keeping a distance from this sector which leads to low participation of India’s youth in the agricultural sector compared to the others which witness active participation and growth. Various announcements have been made in this year’s budget to fill this lacuna,” PM Modi said.

Drawing an analogy to the open platform of UPI, PM Modi mentioned the use of the ‘Digital Public Infrastructure’ platform in the agriculture sector and noted the immense possibilities of investment and innovation in agri-tech domains. The PM pointed out that India is home to more than 3000 agri-startups today compared to next to nothing nine years ago while urging young entrepreneurs to move forward and achieve their goals.

On the International Year of Millets (2023), which was declared by the United Nations after a proposal by India, PM Modi said that its international identity was to open a gateway to the global market for Indian farmers.

“A new revolution is taking place in the cooperative sector of India,” PM Modi remarked.

Shifting the focus to the fisheries sector, PM Modi said, “Fish production in the country has increased by about 70 lakh metric tonnes in the last 8-9 years. a new sub-component that has been announced under the PM Matsya Sampada Yojana at a cost of ₹6000 crore which will give a boost to the fisheries value chain as well as the market.”

The proposed budgetary allocation in this fiscal’s for the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, including agricultural education and research, is about ₹1.25 lakh crore. This includes a provision of Rs. 60,000 crores that have been made for the Modi government’s PM-Kisan. Meanwhile, the agricultural loan target for the animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries sector has been increased to ₹20 lakh crore.

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