Farm income won’t increase: experts

Farm income won't increase: experts
Farm income won't increase: experts

Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Finance Minister, today presented Budget proposals that were rejected by farmers, agricultural experts, and farm economists. “New wine in old bottles” is what they say about the budget.

Farmers and experts have criticized the government for not increasing money given to farmers under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, declining fertiliser subsidies, and no subsidies for agriculture states like Punjab, even though the total agriculture allocations in the Budget fell from 2022-23 to 2023-24.

The Digital Public Infrastructure for Agriculture could benefit states like Bihar, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, but not Punjab, which grows wheat and paddy.

The BJP government promised to double farmers’ income by 2022, according to progressive farmer Abhjinder Sangha from Malerkotla. The only thing that can insulate the economy from the global recession is the farming sector. But the Budget did not reflect the focus on revitalizing the sector. According to him, the immediate focus should have been on promoting grain cultivation since wheat prices have skyrocketed.

Farmers are disillusioned because the money given as assistance to farmers under the PM Kisan scheme has not been increased from Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 as indicated.

According to him, it’s disheartening to see the agriculture budget share fall from 3.8% in 2022-23 to 3.2% in 2023-24.

The government should have increased the credit limit of individual farmers under the Kisan Credit Card scheme from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh instead of increasing agriculture credit to Rs 20 lakh crore with a focus on animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries. As a result of the reduction in fertiliser subsidies, he feared prices would rise.

The government should promote natural farming and expand the use of coarse grains such as millets, according to farmer economist Dr MS Sidhu. The staple grains are still paddy and wheat.”