Agriculture Current Affair 4 February 2022

Agriculture credit outflow exceeds target, touches Rs 15,75,398 crore: Economic Survey

The agriculture credit flow for the year 2020-21 stood at Rs 15,75,398 crore against the target of Rs 15,00,000 crore for the year, said The Economic Survey 2022-23. The agriculture credit flow target for 2021-22 has been fixed at Rs 16,50,000 crore, it added.

Till September 30, 2021 a sum of Rs 7,36,589.05 crore has been disbursed, the survey said.

The government also announced Rs 2 lakh crore concessional credit boost to 2.5 crore farmers through Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) and banks have issued KCC to 2.70 crore eligible farmers as on January 17, 2022.

Crop diversification, startups, private agriculture funding in focus

The Economic Survey suggested wide-ranging measures for the farm sector to achieve the objective of doubling farmers’ incomes, including measures to encourage crop diversification and allied activities such as fisheries and dairy, and policies to raise private investment in the sector. The survey suggested support to startups to encourage innovation in the sector.

It also highlighted the need to prioritise the use of new technologies, including drones and AI-based decision support systems, and pitched for increasing agriculture research and organic farming. “Focus should be on use of new technology including drones and AI-based decision support systems, reduction in use of chemical fertilizers and use of low-cost organic inputs and supporting startups for innovations,” said the survey.

It said the sector has been mostly resilient towards the Covid-19 shock. According to the first advance estimates of national income released last month, the farm sector is expected to grow 3.9% in the current fiscal against 3.6% in 2020-21.

Chemical free farming to boost exports, AgriTech to help digital ecosystem: Experts

While the promotion of chemical-free natural farming in India will likely help exports in the coming time, focus on start-ups and AgriTech in the budget will help develop a digital ecosystem and technology inclusion in the agri sector, said experts.

Usage of drones can increase agriculture GDP by 1-1.5%, experts said.

Chemical free natural farming is a big announcement for exports as well as health of the nation,” said Rajat Wahi, partner, Deloitte India.

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