Budget Reaction- Mr. Ravi Annavarapu, President, FMC India
It’s largely a positive budget for agriculture. We welcome the government’s effort to modernize Indian agriculture with the introduction of digital public infrastructure for agriculture, Agri Accelerator Fund, Value chain linked PPP initiative on cotton, promotion of healthy planting material, and enhanced agriculture credit target apart from farmers-led decentralized storage capacity build up through cooperatives. This budget will promote R&D, innovation, and digitization of agriculture apart from promoting disruption through the startup ecosystem. We see this supportive of precision agriculture and make farming more sustainable. What would further help will be providing tax incentives for R&D and extension services to corporates. The government focus on natural farming will be served better if it can layout clear guidelines for introducing global biological or microbial technologies for the farmers to manage the potential crop loss due to pests and promoting Integrated Pest Management. Agriculture loses more than INR 2 Lakh Crores worth of crops to biotic pressures. Government will do well to align the regulatory system to expedite the introduction of newer technologies in agriculture.