Transitioning from conventional chemical-based farming to organic and natural farming has been a major challenge for Indian farmers. However, the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech on January 1, 2023, and during the subsequent Budget session 2023-24, announced several initiatives to support and promote organic farming practices in India. In this blog, we'll explore how Budget 2023-24 is taking significant steps to address the three main issues faced by farmers in making this transition:
- Lack of Knowledge
- Non-availability of Quality Organic and Bio-inputs
- Lack of Market Support for Fair and Remunerative Prices
Empowering Farmers with Knowledge:
One of the key challenges in shifting to organic farming is the lack of knowledge among farmers. The Union Budget 2023-24 acknowledges this issue and sets an ambitious goal of having 10 million farmers adopt natural farming practices. This initiative aims to bridge the knowledge gap by promoting training and awareness programs for farmers to equip them with the necessary skills and techniques.
Addressing the Bio-input Gap:
The unavailability of quality organic and bio-inputs has been a major roadblock in the adoption of organic farming. The Bhartiya Prakritik Kheti Bio-Input Resource Centres aims to set up 10,000 bio-input resource centers across the nation. This extensive network will provide farmers with access to high-quality bio-fertilizers and pesticides, reducing their dependency on chemical inputs.
Incentives for Reducing Chemical Fertilizers:
Under the PM-PRANAAM Programme (Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth), states will be rewarded with incentives for reducing the use of chemical fertilizers. This initiative not only promotes organic farming but also encourages environmentally sustainable practices.
Promoting a Circular Economy:
The GOBARdhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan) scheme will introduce 500 new 'waste to wealth' plants. These plants aim to promote a circular economy by efficiently utilizing organic waste materials to generate valuable resources. This initiative not only benefits farmers but also contributes to environmental sustainability.
Focus on Millets - 'Shree Anna':
The Union Finance Minister acknowledged the importance of millets, referring to them as 'Shree Anna' in her budget speech. Millets require less water and fertilizers while offering numerous health benefits. The Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad is encouraged to become a Center of Excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies related to millet farming. The year 2023 is designated as the International Year of Millets, highlighting their significance.
Market Support through Cooperatives:
Decentralized multi-purpose cooperatives are encouraged to provide market support to organic and natural farmers. This support will help farmers access fair and remunerative prices for their organic produce, addressing one of the primary challenges faced during the transition.
Boosting Cotton Crop Productivity:
The Atmanirbhar Horticulture Clean Plant Program, with an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore, will adopt a cluster-based and value chain approach through public-private partnerships to increase cotton crop productivity. This initiative aims to improve the yield and quality of cotton crops, further promoting sustainable and organic farming practices.
The Way Forward:
The central government's commitment to promoting organic and natural farming is commendable. With the right blend of awareness, policy support, and financial services provided to organic and natural farming entrepreneurs and farmers, we can anticipate a brighter and healthier future for the agricultural sector and our daily lives. By implementing these initiatives effectively, we can expect a significant shift towards organic farming practices in India and around the world.
We hope this blog has provided you with valuable insights into the supportive measures introduced in Budget 2023-24 for organic farming. To stay updated on more insightful blogs, please explore our other articles.
We encourage you to share this information with your friends and loved ones to help spread awareness about the positive changes happening in the agricultural sector. Together, we can work towards a greener and healthier future. Image Source: Unsplash.
01-Dec-2023 , 04:23 AM
29-Nov-2023 , 05:29 AM