Government likely to announce two agriculture schemes in Union Budget 2020

The Centre is likely to announce two agriculture schemes during the upcoming Union Budget, as per an Economic Times report.

One scheme will be related to crop diversification while the other will give financial help to form Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), according to the report.

In the crop diversification scheme, the Centre is also likely to allocate Rs 500 to 600 crore to promote crops other than paddy in states like Haryana, Punjab and western Uttar Pradesh where the groundwater level is quite low.

During the Budget speech in 2019, Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman told that the government has planned to set up 10,000 FPOs in the next five years.

The main challenge before Farmer Producer Organizations is availability of credit as the banks don’t provide them loans owing to unsecured returns. The government is likely to provide sovereign guarantee for such credit and the FPOs would be able to have easy access to credit.

The FPOs would help farmers boost their income through market access as well as collective bargaining. Each Farmer Producer Organization is operated as separate business units wherein profits are shared by the farmer members.

Besides financing, the ministry of agriculture will also provide training to farmers who are part of the organization, the report said.

As per reports, the ministry of agriculture has also sought 20 per cent less funds for the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana that gives farmer Rs 6000 a year for the year 2020-21 as some states have been quite slow in identifying the beneficiaries while several existing recipients are yet to be Aadhaar verified.

The Agriculture ministry has asked for Rs 60,000 crore for PM-KISAN scheme for the next fiscal. The Centre had allocated Rs 75,000 crore for the current year, but it has been able to pay out only Rs 44,000 crore so far this fiscal under PM-Kisan scheme.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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