Key agriculture announcements in the year of intense farm protests

In the budget presented today, India’s Agri Credit Target was raised to Rs 16.5 lakh crore.

1.54 crore farmers have benefited from MSP in paddy and wheat in FY21 vs 1.24 crore YoY, it was announced.

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Amount paid to farmers for wheat in FY21 was Rs 75,060 crore vs Rs 62,802 crore in FY20, and for paddy in FY21 seen at Rs 1.72 crore vs Rs 1.41 lakh crore in FY20, the FM said.

Amount paid to farmers for pulses in FY21 seen at Rs 10,530 crore vs Rs 8,285 crore in FY20.

Unlike in the past, when agriculture often got no more than lip service, this time around, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman took care to ensure her Budget prioritises farmers.

The announcements also come amid ongoing farmers’ agitation to protest against the new farm laws passed by the government. Several rounds of discussions have ended without a resolution.

Through the pandemic year, when the pace of the manufacturing and services sector came to a grinding halt, agriculture and allied sectors picked up pace as the country saw the strength of the farm sector.

According to the Economic Review 2020-21, while the industry and services sectors are projected to fall by 9.6 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, in the current financial year, the growth rate of agriculture and allied sectors can remain at 3.4 per cent. The agriculture and allied sectors recorded a growth rate of 3.4 per cent at constant prices during FY 2020-21 (first advance estimate).