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More investment needed in agriculture sector to push growth: FM Jaitley

New Delhi: January 4,2016

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 boost productivity.


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 policy.
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.
 

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