Stressing on the need
for more investments in the farm sector, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
on Monday said the incentive structure of the agriculture sector should
be revisited to address the challenges being faced by the sector and
Speaking at the first pre-budget consultative meeting with the
representatives of agriculture groups, Jaitley said the performance of
agriculture sector in three out of the last four years has not been good
mainly due to inadequate monsoon.
As per the estimates of GDP for the second quarter of this fiscal,
Jaitley said the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector grew by 2.2%
compared to 2.1% in the corresponding period of 2014-15.
"The key challenges faced by the Indian agriculture are the need to
increase productivity by leveraging technology- especially for high
yielding and resistant variety seeds and efficient utilisation of water,
adapt latest IT to increase resilience to nature by phasing sowing,
watering and harvesting and to increase the price benefits to the farmer
by providing timely market information," Jaitley said.
"These challenges can be addressed by revisiting the incentive structure
of farming, using latest technology to raise productivity, reduce
wastages and enhance earnings as well as to improve marketing of farm
produce.There is a need for more investment in agriculture sector," the
Finance Minister added.
Farmer groups and agriculture experts asked the government to provide
loans of up to Rs 5 lakh to all farmers at 4% interest rate and sought
higher MSP, increased coverage of crop insurance and consistent export
Fertiliser body FAI sought introduction of direct transfer of urea
subsidy to farmers and higher budget allocation for next three years to
clear arrears of Rs 50,000 crore.