NEW DELHI: : Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget for 2016-17 makes agriculture and farmers’ welfare one of the top priorities of the government. Here are the top 10 initiatives for the sector, announced in the budget:
1. Farmers’ income to be doubled by 2022.
2. 28.5 lakh hectares to be brought under irrigation under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana or the Prime Minister’s Agricultural Irrigation Scheme.
3. 89 irrigation projects, requiring Rs. 86,500 crore in next five years, to be fast tracked. 23 of these projects to be completed before 31st March, 2017.
4. Dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund to be created in the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development or NABARD with an initial corpus of Rs. 20,000 crore.
5.Total outlay on irrigation including market borrowings is R. 12,157 crore.
6. Major programme for Sustainable Ground Water management proposed for multilateral funding at a cost of Rs. 6,000 crore.
7. 7. 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain-fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up.
8. Soil Health Cards to be given to 14 crore farm holdings by March, 2017.
9. 2,000 model retail outlets of fertiliser companies with soil and seed testing facilities, to be opened in the next three years.
10. Unified Agricultural Marketing E-Platform to be dedicated to the Nation on the Birthday of Dr. BR Ambedkar on April 14, 2016.