Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Wednesday said the Centre has taken several steps for the growth of the farm sector and to boost farmers’ income and highlighted that nearly Rs 6.22 lakh crore has been allocated in the Budget for agriculture sector during 2014-22.
Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Prahlad Patel listed several steps taken by the Modi government in the interest of the farmers.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, Patel informed that the agriculture budget stood at Rs 1,48,162.16 crore during the 2006-14 period while the budget allocation for the agri sector during 2014-22 reached Rs 6,21,940.92 crore.
Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, he said the Centre has provided Rs 2.16 lakh crore amount directly into bank accounts of eligible farmers. The Centre provides Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments under this scheme.
Patel said that “reports released by various institutions clearly show that the total inflation-adjusted income of farmers has doubled, or almost doubled in many states”.
The minister said the Prime Minister has empowered the farmers by giving them modern digital technology.
Through digital technology, the farmers have been saved from many troubles and loot along with getting rid of problems of corruption and middlemen, he added.
The minister said that “through digital techniques, the assistance given by the government to the farmers has now started reaching the farmers directly, due to which new opportunities have been provided to them to do business…”
The government has created a new concept from seed to market and the digital agriculture mission has played an important role in bringing changes in the conditions and standard of living of the farmers, he said.
Elaborating on other major schemes, Patel said more than 1.74 crore farmers have been linked across the country on e-NAM portal and 2.36 lakh businesses have been registered through e-NAM. Business worth Rs 2.22 lakh crore has already taken place.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the minister said that claims of Rs 1.25 lakh crore have been paid, while Rs 25,185 crore was given by the farmers as insurance premium.
Patel noted that more than 3,855 FPOs (Farmer Producer Organisations) have been registered so far, while 22.71 crore soil health cards have been issued and 11,531 testing laboratories approved.
In the previous government, he said the allocation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana was Rs 6,057 crore, while the Modi government has increased this by about 136 per cent to Rs 15,511 crore.
Under the Micro Irrigation Fund, the projects worth Rs 4710.96 crore have been approved covering an area of 17.09 lakh hectares.
During the time of the previous government, the agricultural credit flow was Rs 7.3 lakh crore and the Modi government has increased the target to Rs 18.5 lakh crore for 2022-23, Patel said.
The minister said the government has also enhanced fertiliser subsidy to ensure that farmers get soil nutrients at an affordable price.
Patel noted that India ranks first or second in terms of production of maximum agricultural produce in the world and a record export of agricultural produce worth Rs 3.75 lakh crore has been done, the statement said.
Earlier there were only 100 start-ups working in the agriculture sector but in the last 7-8 years this number has increased to more than 4,000, he added.
Patel said India has achieved the 10 per cent ethanol blending target by 2021-22, much ahead of the deadline.
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