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Food processing & agricultural sector: Budget 2022 expectations Budget 2022
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Food processing & agricultural sector: Budget 2022 expectations

IBNS | @indiablooms | 23 Jan 2022, 07:01 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Agriculture sector which is expected to contribute one trillion in India's vision of becoming a five trillion economy by 2024-25 has been again put under the spotlight by experts ahead of the Budget 2022.

As per NSO estimates, the gross value added (GVA) percentile of agriculture has accelerated from 17.6 percent in (2018-19) to 20.2 percent in 2020-21.

Recently, the Centre announced production linked incentive (PLI) scheme with an outlay of Rs 10,900 crores applicable to (RTE/ RTC foods, fruits, and vegetables, marine products, mozzarella cheese) that is expected to enhance processing levels, said the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI).

On the other hand, unsettling situations caused by technology and the requirement for sustainable agriculture are a few areas that the Government needs to lend a helping hand, according to media reports.

The key budget expectations are:

Increase in finances allocated towards R&D

As per the Economic Survey, India's R&D allocation has been between 0.3 to 0.5 percent in the past two decades.

Prioritising enhancement in productivity from limited agricultural resources, the Centre might look at proliferating finances directed towards updating farming techniques, sustainable farming methods, and research and development activities, as per an opinion piece in MoneyControl.

The R&D budget for 2020-21 was Rs 8,514 crores which was lesser than the US's allocation of 2.8 percent from its budget, and China's 2.1 percent allotment, according to media reports.

Increase in PLI allocation for introducing other agriculture crops

PLI schemes in the food processing belt (which contributes to around 12.8 percent of India’s GDP) stand at Rs 10,900 crore, informed MOFPI.

This allocation is less in comparison to auto and pharmaceuticals which contribute lower to the country’s GDP than the agricultural sector.

The increase in outlay will shore up the sector, and aid in exports, domestic consumption, and overall economic development, while creating a ripple effect on agri-inputs, agri-equipment manufacturers, logistics, and packaging sectors opined Soumyak Biswas and Anand Ramanathan in a MoneyControl piece.

Sanctioning a national strategy on agricultural technology

Technology has disrupted the agriculture businesses and their value chain, which has made agri-tech firms address many need gaps in the value chain that might help in improving production, quality, and boost the efficiency in the value chain, they said.

Adoption of technology and practices by farmers which requires behaviour change, awareness creation, and capacity building, is much needed, they added.

It is essential to have a cohesive policy that needs to be developed in collaboration with various stakeholders to improve penetration of agri-tech in India, a MoneyControl piece opined.

The increased budgetary allocation may also encourage farmers (especially the small and marginal farmers) to adopt modern solutions that mitigate risks, it said.

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