In the interim budget for the fiscal year 2024–25, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed several initiatives, with a primary focus on expanding India’s agricultural and related sectors. The comprehensive steps are intended to increase farmer incomes nationwide, decrease post-harvest losses, and improve productivity.
One noteworthy development is the launch of nano DAP for a variety of crops, which comes after the successful launch of nano urea in FY21. It is anticipated that the action will support more sustainable farming methods and higher crop yields.
The government is promoting private-public investments in modern agriculture to reduce post-harvest losses and improve storage capacity. Furthermore, an all-encompassing programme is being developed to assist dairy farmers, expanding upon current initiatives like the National Livestock Mission and Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
The Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana (PMFME) has received a significant boost of ₹880 crore from the budget, which brings the total amount allocated to the Ministry of Food Processing to ₹3,290 crore. 60,000 people with credit links and 240,000 self-help groups have already benefited greatly from the PMFME programme.
With an emphasis on increasing farmers’ incomes, Finance Minister Sitharaman underlined the government’s commitment to value addition in the agriculture and food processing industries. An essential component of these initiatives has been the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana, which has benefited 3.8 million farmers and created 1 million job opportunities.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare will get ₹1.17 trillion from the budget, a small increase over the previous fiscal year. Approximately ₹1.64 trillion was designated for fertiliser subsidies, out of the ₹1.64 trillion received by the Chemicals and Fertiliser Ministry.
Building on the achievements of nano urea, Sitharaman declared that nano DAP would be applied more widely to a wider range of crops and agroclimatic zones. In keeping with the government’s goal of having oilseed production become self-sufficient, a thorough plan that addresses everything from high-yield research to market connections will be created.
A comprehensive support programme for dairy farming is planned, which would incorporate current initiatives such as the National Livestock Mission and the Rashtriya Gokul Mission. Under the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY), the fishing industry will receive more attention. Five integrated aquaparks are to be established.
The revised budget of ₹7,106 crore for the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying represents a substantial increase above the ₹5,621 crore allotted for the previous year. Sitharaman emphasised the continuation of crucial initiatives like PM Kisan and NREGA while reiterating the government’s commitment to enhancing the lives of farmers.
The Bank of Baroda Chief Economist, Madan Sabnavis, emphasised the significance of the insurance scheme for farmers and the incorporation of mandis into e-NAM as primary areas of concern. According to him, the fertiliser subsidy was modified in anticipation of steady crude oil prices, with potential changes in the event of a jump in prices.