Agriculture budget rose 5 times in 9 years to over ₹1.25 lakh crore: PM Modi

Modi said farmers have not only made the nation ‘atmanirbhar’ but also made India capable of exporting food grains

Saurav Anand
First Published24 Feb 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (AP)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Union Budget 2023-24, like in the previous 8-9 years, focuses on the agriculture sector, and steps are being taken in mission mode to become completely self-sufficient in terms of edible oil.

Addressing a post-budget webinar with stakeholders of agriculture and cooperative sectors, the prime minister informed that the agricultural budget which was less than 25,000 crore in 2014 has been increased to more than 1.25 lakh crore today.

“Every Budget in recent years has been called a budget for Gaon, Gareeb and Kisan,”Modi added.

Noting that India’s agricultural sector remained distressed for a long time since Independence, the prime minister pointed out the country’s dependence on the outside world for our food security.

He highlighted how India’s farmers transformed the situation by not only making the nation ‘atmanirbhar’ (self-sufficient) but also capable of exporting food grains. “Today India is exporting many types of agricultural products,“ PM Modi said.

He also stated that India’s goal should not be limited to rice or wheat when it comes to self-sufficiency or export. Highlighting the imports in the agricultural sector, the prime minister gave examples of expenditures of 17,000 crores in 2021-22 for the import of pulses, 25,000 crores for the import of Value Added Food Products, and 1.5 lakh crore spent on the import of edible oils in 2021-22.

He said the sum of all agricultural imports was about 2 lakh crores. The Prime Minister emphasized that various decisions are being continuously taken in the budget to promote the agricultural sector so that the nation becomes ‘atmanirbhar’ and the money used for imports can reach our farmers.

He gave examples of increase in MSP, promotion of pulse production, increase in the number of food processing parks, and work in mission mode to become completely self-sufficient in terms of edible oil.

The prime minister informed about the introduction of accelerator funds for agri-tech startups and said that the government is not only creating digital infrastructure but also preparing funding avenues.

He urged the youth and young entrepreneurs to move forward and achieve their goals. PM Modi pointed out that India is home to more than 3000 agri-startups today compared to next to nothing 9 years ago.

This was the second webinar addressed by the Prime Minister. On Thursday, he had elaborately spoken on the topic of green growth. In all, he is scheduled to address 12 post-budget webinars till 11 March, 2023.

The webinars are being organised by various ministries/departments to build on the “Saptarishi” priorities outlined in the Union Budget 2023-24.

The idea of post-budget webinars was conceptualized by PM Modi to bring together all stakeholders for bringing synergy in the implementation of Budget announcements.

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