Budget 2019: Govt emphasis on SFURTI, Zero-Budget farming
In India, the agricultural sector contributes majorly to employment and is considered the backbone of India’s economy. Owing to this it was expected that the Union Budget policies be benefiting the farmers, villages and rural industries.
The Finance Minister in her budget announcement laid focus on reducing import bill in the future and doubling the income of the farmers. For the same, special schemes or yojanas are being implemented and will be receiving funding from the government. As part of the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), increased attention will be given to facilitation centres resulting in the development of cluster-based industries for bamboo, honey, etc. This is aimed to make the traditional industries more productive and according to the finance minister, they will benefit from 100 new clusters which will enable approximately 50,000 more artisans to get employment and engage in economic production.
The government plans to focus on the importance and support the practice of ‘Zero-Budget Farming’ model which is currently being followed in some states in India. In this model, the costs of raising the main crop are offset by the income earned by the farmers from intercrops. Ease of business and living for farmers as well as agricultural industries are the focus points. Private enterprises who are involved in agri-products business operations relating to bamboo, timber and renewable energy are also to receive support from the government.
Apart from this, the agri-based industries will be benefiting from access to easy credit availability as part of increasing financial inclusion in the economy, infrastructure development in terms of roads(Bharat Mala scheme), waterways (Sagar Mala scheme) and airways (Udan scheme), skilled labourers, livelihood and tech incubators, etc.