Indian agriculture: New budget makes it greener for private funding…
Indian agriculture sector has shifted its gears, thanks to the new direction outlined in the 2012 budget. As compared to prior years, when the budget was tilted towards solving the supply-side bottlenecks, 2012 budget, for a change, was structured to solve the chronic issues ailing the Indian agriculture – irrigation, seed development and miserable post-harvest facilities – in collaboration with the private sector. Public private partnerships have been getting a great boost in the last couple of years, because of a greater transparency and encouraging outcomes.
2012 Budgetary measures…
A fresh approach to measuring the chronic problems does come out of this budget – the thought and intent needs to be commended. The salient points of the new agricultural investment policy are…
- A government funding system has been established with the intent of pumping private funding in the agricultural sector. Some of the major areas of private funding in the agricultural sector are..
- Irrigation (dams, canals and embankments)
- Terminal markets (Mandis)
- Soil testing labs
- common infrastructures in agriculture and fertilizer segment
- Investment in cold chain facilities & warehouses
Agricultural research got a surprisingly big boost of Rs. 200 crores – though this is miniscule compared to the R&D budget of the developed countries. The new budget envisages a greater research incentive in the area of new seed development. Seven major agricultural universities and institutions have been provided grants to undertake research and development activities.
The new agricultural finance company…
A separate state-owned unit called the Irrigation and Water Resources Finance company will be rolled out in 2012-13 to garner resources for funding funding micro-irrigation, contract farming, waste water management and sanitation. The public spending is directed to a greater extent towards micro-irrigation programmes, credit enhancement and agricultural R&D