Indian State Hikes Agri Budget

INDIA - In a view to boost the agriculture sector, Odisha state will be increasing agricultural spend to $335 million during the 2014-15 budget year, writes Jagdish Kumar.
calendar icon 20 June 2014
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During the same period last budget year, the state had a spending outlay of $223 million, reports Jagdish Kumar.

This is the second year the state has presented a separate agriculture budget.

The state plan outlay includes crop husbandry, horticulture, soil and water conservation, agriculture research and education and other agricultural interventions.

Government is committed to the growth of the sector and that allocations in several schemes have been increased this year, Pradip Amat, state finance minister said while presenting the agriculture budget.

The state will be spending $243 million on major and medium irrigation projects, while $143 million will be spend on minor irrigation projects.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (National Agriculture Growth Plan) has been allocated $68 million, while $18.5 million will be spent on promoting agricultural activities, equipment & diesel pump sets.

The state has set aside $53 million to provide timely loan to the farmers. Farmers will also get free mobile phones that will help them access latest market prices of agricultural products.

The budget has a provision of $13 million for Odisha Dedicated Agriculture and Fishery Feeder scheme.

Pointing out that the total cultivable area of the state is 61 lakh hectare, the minister said, 28 lakh hectare have been irrigated from all sources which represents about 45 percent of the total cultivable area.

Government will make available high quality seeds, fertilizers, pesticides insecticides and required agricultural technical extensive services to our farmers. Seed replacement ratio will also be increased substantially and all subsidies and financial assistance will be transferred directly to the bank account of individual farmers in coming days, the minister adds.

Michael Priestley

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