Indian agriculture is on the cusp of a massive breakout. During the recent challenges of the downturn in the national economy, the sector proved its resilience and showed the path towards progress. The Union Budget 2022-23 should offer an expansive and robust framework to take this advantage forward.
The Union Budget needs to address the agriculture sector on a multi-pronged basis such as driving clear transparency, ensuring that the sector is commercially viable for all stakeholders, making access to institutional cost-effective finance for the sustenance of stable livelihood, giving a boost to adoption of easy-to-use technology, creating robust structures for many more organised corporates to be part of the agriculture sector, promoting pro-actively agribusiness start-up ecosystem along with addressing the vital issues of the sector.
We must ensure that there is complete transparency on how the livelihood improvements will be delivered. There are many stakeholders in the agriculture value chain who are reliant on this sector, and we need to bring clarity to empower them. No one should lose their livelihoods and we must ensure that it is addressed. Farmers should be put on the focal point of all discussions taken as they are the important stakeholders. We need to bring in significant transparency to them so that farmers can plan their livelihoods.
You may also like to read: Union Budget 2022-23: 9 Steps that can bring in decisive transformation and win back India’s farmers
The aspect of cost-effective institutional finance with multiple options is highly needed for the farming community. As of now, the choices are highly restricted to them and this needs to change. When many citizens in the cities have so many options to access various forms of financial products, why should a farmer not have a choice? This pivot should happen, and more the push and support the service providers get the better.
The time is excitingly ripe for the Indian corporate sector to be part of the agriculture ecosystem in a more integrated manner. There are a lot of contributions which organised sector can bring for the benefit of the farmers and uplift the sector – be in structuring a technology or to shape a roadmap for livelihood improvement.
You may also like to read: Govt to provide financial support for use of drones in agriculture under ‘Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization’
There is an immense knowledge base and capabilities in the organised sector. However, these capabilities which can be transformational, are not reaching the farmers. We should comprehensively address this gap for the benefit of the farmers and consumers. Organised sector players in the market must ensure that no one loses in the ecosystem and that should be done on an immediate basis and which will instil confidence in the farmers.
While empowering the corporate sector to take forward the innovations, the Government of India has to pro-actively create programmes to encourage and support ideas and innovation for the development of the agriculture and agribusiness ecosystem. We need more vehicles and channels backed by the Government of India to solve problems at scale.
(Views expressed in the article are author’s own.)