Govt's proposal to revive zero-budget farming laudable

Dr. H K Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD 

On announcements on agriculture and rural India

The overall emphasis of the Budget is to develop infrastructure, energize investments, strengthening rural sector and empower women. The focus on Gaon, Garib and Kisan would augur well in addressing the rural distress and providing succor to the rural populace. The various schemes announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, cluster-based rural industrialisation for promoting 50,000 artisans, 75000 skilled agri-entrepreneurs, overall focus on dairy sector, developing 10000 FPOs and zero-budget farming are all very laudable. 

On FPO - 

Majority of the farmers, who are unorganised, small and marginal, fail to get due value for their produce. NABARD has been propagating collectivisation of farmers through FPOs as it allows them to get collective bargaining power in buying agri inputs and selling their produce. The Budget proposal of setting up 10000 FPOs is a path-breaking step to ensure economies of scale for farmers. 

On Zero-Budget Farming –

The government’s proposal to revive zero-budget farming is a well-thought-out plan that would help millions of famers cut down input cost and practise sustainable agriculture. NABARD has been supporting sustainable agriculture through tribal development and watershed development programmes. This initiative will help mitigate the rural distress to a great extent.

 

The author is the Chairman of NABARD. 

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