Fix skewed agri credit in Northeast — Economic Survey
New Delhi, Jan. 31 (IANS): To boost agriculture in Northeast states, the Economic Survey 2019-2020, which was tabled by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Parliament on Friday, pointed out the need for increasing financial inclusion to rectify highly skewed distribution of agriculture credit in these states.
Further emphasising on the need to enhance mechanisation in agricultural sector, Economic Survey pointed out that in India, mechanisation is only 40 per cent compared to China which is 59.5 per cent and Brazil 75 per cent.
The survey proposed revision of rates under National Food Security Act to address the issue of burgeoning food subsidy bill. It also advises prudent management of Food Corporation of India’s (FCI) buffer stocks.
The survey states that livestock sector has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.9 per cent during last five years. “Livestock income has become an important secondary source of income for millions of rural families and has assumed an important role in achieving the goal of doubling farmers’ income,” says Economic Survey.
Further during the last six years ending 2017-18, Food processing industries sector has been growing at an Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR) of around 5.06 per cent, says Economic Survey.
The sector constitutes as much as 8.83 per cent and 10.66 per cent of Gross Value Added (GVA) in manufacturing and agriculture sector respectively in 2017-18 at 2011-12 prices.
Highlighting the need for crop insurance, Economic Survey underscores the benefits of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) which has been under implementation since 2016 to provide risk coverage from pre-sowing to post harvest natural preventable risks.
The scheme envisages increase in coverage from the existing 23 per cent to 50 per cent of Gross Cropped Area (GCA). Government has also created a National Crop Insurance Portal which provides interface among all stakeholders.
Following the natural trajectory of development process and owing to structural changes taking place in economy, share of agriculture and allied sectors in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country at current prices has declined from 18.2 per cent in 2014-15 to 16.5 per cent in 2019-2020.
To increase water use efficiency at farm level, Economic Survey advises further penetration of Micro Irrigation (drip and sprinkle irrigation) through schemes like Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichayee Yojana (PMKSY). Economic Survey also mentions the dedicated Micro Irrigation Fund (MIF) with an initial corpus of INR 5,000 crore created with NABARD.