CropLife India, an association of 16 R&D-driven crop science companies, has complimented the Government of India for initiating the development of a robust digital public infrastructure in the agriculture industry for aiding the crop protection industry in the Union Budget 2023-24. This will enable inclusive farmer-centric solutions through relevant information services, for crop planning and health, improved access to farm inputs, credit and crop insurance, help for crop estimation, market intelligence and support for the growth of agritech startups, the industry association said.
An Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set up to encourage the formation of agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers. It will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices and increase productivity and profitability.
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The Budget 2022-23 witnessed the inclusion of ‘Kisan Drones’ for agrochemical spraying, crop assessment and digitisation of land records. Setting up of the digital public infrastructure would further boost Indian agriculture and provide a fillip to the digital ecosystem for agriculture.
Durgesh Chandra, Secretary General, CropLife India said, “It is extremely delightful to witness the initiation of digital public infrastructure for agriculture aiding the crop protection industry in the Union Budget 2023-24. The Government’s push towards digitisation of agriculture coupled with the focus on hi-tech services would enhance rural entrepreneurship and infuse youth back in the farmlands, boosting the productivity”.
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CropLife India and its members have been urging the Government to reduce the GST on agrochemicals from the current 18 per cent to 12 per cent and provide a 200 per cent weighted deduction on R&D expenses by agrochemical companies; both of which would have directly benefited the farmers.