Zero Budget Farming Agri Infrastructure One Of Key Takeaways In Union Budget 2019
The zero budget farming and investment in agriculture infrastructure are the key takeaways in the budget, while zero budget farming is the mantra of going back to basics. BW Businessworld also speaks to Subhash Palekar, Indian agriculturist and Padma Shri awardee who reinvented zero budget farming.
Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar
Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance, started tabling the Union Budget 2019. She has very much followed the footsteps of her predecessor Arun Jaitley. The Zero budget farming is the main focus area of handling agrarian distress as finance minister had said in her budget speech.
Zero budget farming is the term made popular by Subhash Palekar, Farmer and Agriculturist from Vidarbha another area with rural distress. Zero budget farming is going back to basics because farmer usually earns from intercrops and invest it in new seasons sowing mostly in a natural way. While talking to BW Businessworld, Palekar said that zero budget farming is a welcome step for both farmers and consumers.
He further added that issues such as global warming can also be handled by this age-old Indian practice along with avoiding toxication of soil and food items.
India faces distress in the agrarian front due to a few basic reasons include Minimal technology interventions, relatively low popularity and growth of high-value commodities and finally the most needed marketing reforms and minimum intervention of government in markets.
Major reform and strengthening of India’s agricultural research and extension systems is one of the most important needs for agricultural growth.
Also, some agricultural sub-sectors have a particularly high potential for expansion, notably dairy.
The livestock sector, primarily the dairy, contributes over a quarter of agricultural GDP and is a source of income for some 70 percent of rural families, mostly headed by women.
The budget had somehow continued to where it left with the previous budget.
As expected and promised by the Modi 2.0 government the rural and agriculture infrastructure has been initiated along with support to private entrepreneurship.
This is to be noticed that while public investment has increased in agriculture, the private investments has got significantly down.
The government will ensure to set-up some 100 clusters that will promote bamboo, honey and Khadi for the financial year 2019-20.