New Delhi, Feb 1 : The budget for 2020-21 has focused on agriculture in a substantial manner, the Federation of Seed Industry of India (FSII) said on Saturday. “We welcome this focus on agriculture and on doubling farmers income, making farmers globally competitive and giving them free access to markets.
We very much welcome the Finance Minister’s statement that unnecessary interference of the Government in markets is to be reduced, an objective which was elicited in the Economic Survey too,” FSII chairman Dr Ramasami said.
Finance Minister Niramala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget for 2020-21 in Parliament today. Ram Kaundinya, Director General of FSII, said, “The budget is a mixed bag for agriculture. The 16 action points are well crafted. Especially the points related to the following are very much welcome:Creating projects for 100 water stressed districts, generation of solar energy on farms and waste lands through PM Kusum Scheme, creating warehousing at the Taluk and local level in PPP mode, establishing seamless cold chain with the involvement of Indian railways who will introduce refrigerated coaches, Krishi Udan to link farmers with domestic and International markets for perishable commodities, Horticulture clusters at each district level and linking ENAM with financing on negotiable warehousing receipts.
''However, there are no structural reforms that they were looking for. Without the structural changes it would not be possible for the farmers to realize better prices and to mitigate their risks,'' the DG said. ''While Ms Sitharaman said that they wanted to make the Indian farmer competitive, she did not talk anything about using modern science and technology in seeds, increasing farm mechanization and other inputs which are essential for this. The seed industry hopes to find some references to this in the details.
''However, it is disappointing to note the continued emphasis on Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) as a panacea for the farmers. Many experts have already expressed grave reservations about ZBNF in the last one year and this cannot be the vehicle to take our farmers to global competitiveness and financial security and certainly not a way for food security of the country. We need a more scientific approach to enhancing farm productivity and farmers competitiveness,” the DG said. (UNI)