The agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy, and fisheries sectors were shown in a favourable light in the Union Budget for 2023–2024 that was unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday. According to industry officials, the proposals will lead to long-term growth that will produce better results in the upcoming years.
“The Budget has proven to showcase that the future of the agriculture sector in the country is bright, with its well-researched, and nuanced focus towards the sector,” said Karthik Jayaraman, Co-Founder and Managing Director, WayCool Foods and Products Ltd, a food and agri-tech platform.
We warmly welcome Sitharaman’s declaration that the government will provide digital public infrastructure for agriculture, enabling an open-source, open-standard, and interoperable public good that includes farmer-centric solutions, Jayaraman said the move will improve access to farm inputs for the farmers whilst also boosting market intelligence, thereby, also providing support to agri-tech and start-up growth.
According to him, the Agriculture Accelerator Fund’s launch will significantly benefit the industry by enticing young entrepreneurs to the field and introducing creative, cost-effective solutions to the problems farmers face, particularly those related to boosting profitability and outfitting modern technology.
Moreover, With a budget of Rs 2,200 crore, the Atmanirbhar clean plant initiative would give farmers access to the availability of disease-free, clean planting materials, boosting agricultural production significantly. Disease infestation has been a serious issue affecting 35% of overall crop productivity, Jayaraman added.
“We are glad to hear a number of farmer-friendly initiatives by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which undoubtedly will support our agricultural economy and accelerate growth amongst other sectors such as animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries,” said B. Soundararajan, Chairman, Suguna Group.
He said the Agriculture Acceleration Fund would be extremely useful in stimulating agricultural start-ups in rural areas through a collaboration between the farmers, state, and the sector.
“Overall, investment in resources and modern technology in these domains will surely contribute in the formation of long-term growth that will give greater results in the coming years,” Soundararajan said.