Rs 15 lakh crore credit target for farmers during 2020-21 fiscal

New Delhi: The Central government has set to disburse Rs 15 lakh crore among farmers as credit during the year 2020-21, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday while presenting the Union Budget in the Lok Sabha.

She said the refinancing scheme of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) will be further expanded. “Agriculture credit target for the year 2020-21 has been set at Rs 15 lakh crore,” she said.

Finance Minister Sitharaman also presented a 16-point plan to revive the farm and agriculture sector.

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These include encouraging states to take up model agricultural laws, comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed districts, PM Kusum Scheme, which removes dependence on kerosene and encourages the use of solar power, balanced use of fertilisers, an important step because currently the use of chemical fertilisers is incentivised.

“NABARD will take up an exercise of mapping and geotagging agricultural warehouses, cold storage and other inventory storages,” she said.

She added: “A village storage scheme is proposed to be managed by SHEs. This will help farmers store more and reduce logistics costs. Women in the village will be responsible for managing this seamless storage mechanism.”

She also announced that the Krishi UDAAN scheme will be launched by the Aviation Ministry. “Horticulture sector with its current produce exceeds the production of food grains. We will now take it to ‘one product, one district.”

She said that financing of negotiable warehousing receipts will be integrating other e-services.

“Our government aims to eliminate the foot and mouth disease in sheep and goat by 2025,” she said.

The minister announced the doubling of milk production of 53.5 million metric tonnes of milk to 103 metric million tonnes by 2025.

“Our government will involve youths in the fishery sector. We hope the rural youth will work as Sagar Mitras and also form Fish Farmer Organisation,” she said.

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