Presenting the interim budget 2024-25, the finance minister said that the focus will be to further promote aggregation, modern storage, efficient supply chains, primary and secondary processing and marketing and branding of agricultural commodities.

“The efforts for value addition in the agricultural sector and boosting farmers’ income will be stepped up. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana has benefitted 38 lakh farmers and generated 10 lakh employment. Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh self help groups (SHGs) and 60,000 individuals with credit linkages. Other schemes are complementing the efforts for reducing postharvest losses, and improving productivity and incomes”, the minister claimed.

The minister said that after the successful adoption of Nano Urea, application of Nano DAP on various crops will be expanded in all agro-climatic zones.  She also assured the formulation of a strategy to achieve self reliance in oil seeds production including mustard, groundnut, sesame, soybean, and sunflower. Research for high-yielding varieties, widespread adoption of modern farming techniques, market linkages, procurement, value addition, and crop insurance will be part of the strategy, she added.

The interim-Budget speech also said the government will introduce a comprehensive programme for supporting dairy farmers. The programme will be built on the success of existing schemes such Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Livestock Mission, and Infrastructure Development Funds for dairy processing and animal husbandry, she said.

To promote the growth of fisheries sector, the minister said the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY) will be stepped up to enhance aquaculture productivity from existing 3 to 5 tons per hectare,double exports to `Rs 1 lakh crore and  generate 55 lakh employment opportunities in near future. A promise to set up five integrated aquaparks has also been made.

The minister claimed that under PM-KISAN SAMMAN Yojana, direct financial assistance is provided to 11.8 crore farmers every year, while crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana.

Stating that the agriculture sector is poised for inclusive, balanced, higher growth and productivity, Sitharaman claimed that the electronic National Agriculture Market has integrated 1361 mandis, and is providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with trading volume of  Rs 3 lakh crore at the moment.

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