Third Tranche: Agriculture and Allied Activities

The Union Finance Minister announced the third tranche of the economic package amounting to a mammoth Rs.20 lakh crore to combat the setback caused by the global pandemic in the country. The third tranche will focus on governance reforms, farm infrastructure, animal husbandry, and fisheries.

Here are the key takeaways from the announcements today:

1.    Farmgate infrastructure like post-harvest storage infrastructures, cold chains, etc will strengthen through an investment of Rs. One lakh crore

2.    Micro food scheme with a cluster-based approach will get Rs.10,000 crore fund which will benefit 2 lakh Micro Food Enterprises. For instance, Kashmir can have Kesar cluster, Bihar can have Makhana cluster, Andhra can have the cluster of chilies, while Telangana can have the cluster for Turmeric

3.    For the development of marine and inland fisheries, the govt. will launch Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana where an investment of Rs.20,000 crore will help fill the gaps in the value chain. This will employ to 55 lakh people and lead to additional production of 70 lakh tons of fish in the next five years

4.    To eradicate the foot and mouth-related diseases, Rs.13,343 crores worth of vaccination for livestock to be done in India

5.    To improve the dairy infrastructure, Rs.15,000 crore will be invested which will also include investment in cattle feed

6.    An investment of Rs.4,000 crore to grow herbal and medicinal plants. These herbal and medicinal plants will grow on ten lakh hectares of land, providing an income of nearly Rs.5,000 crore for the farmers

7.    To help Rs.2 lakh beekeepers, a fund of Rs.500 crore will be allocated

8.    Operation Greens worth Rs.500 crore will extend beyond onions, potatoes, and tomatoes and will apply to all vegetables

9.    Governance Reforms
For better price realisation of farmers, the govt. will propose an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act. Food items like pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onions, and potatoes will deregulate, wherein stock limits will be imposed in exceptional circumstances like surge in prices or a famine

10.  Agriculture Marketing Reforms
Formulation of a central law will formulate
    1. Barrier-free interstate trade
    2. A framework that will allow e-trading of agricultural produce
    3. Adequate choices for selling produce at attractive prices

11.  Agriculture Quality Assurance and Produce Price
Creation of a legal framework to enable farmers for engaging with aggregators, processors, exporters, large retailers, etc transparently and fairly. Quality standardisation, assured returns, and risk mitigation for farmers will form an integral part of the new framework

The Finance Minister said that the three tranches of the stimulus package announced yet are aimed at making the people earn a livelihood and make them self-sufficient. 

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