Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her maiden budget in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The budgeted expenditure for 2019-20 was pegged at Rs. 27.86 lakh crore, a 13.4% increase over the revised estimates for 2018-19.As usual, interest payments and subsidies (for food, petroleum and fertilizers) made up the largest components of the budget. Each rectangle in the visualisation below represents the percentage of total budget allocated under each sector. In terms of allocation, agriculture & allied activities received the biggest push (74% absolute increase) among all sectors compared to FY19. A huge chunk of this allocation is expected to go towards the PM Kisan scheme. In her budget speech, Ms. Sitharaman said that the government would invest widely in agriculture infrastructure and
Expensive agricultural equipment can be hired through the mobile application. A laser-guided land leveller harnesses technology to accurately flatten a field in a fraction of the time used by a traditional oxen-powered scraper.The result? Farmers save precious groundwater and increase productivity by 10 to 15%.The hitch? Such hitech levellers cost at least ₹3 lakh, way beyond the reach of the average small farmer.But a new app that’s being described as “Uber for tractors” offers a solution.“We want farmers to have affordable access to cutting-edge technology at their doorsteps,” says a senior Agriculture Ministry official. “There are now more than 38,000 custom hiring centres (CHCs) across the country, which rent out 2.5 lakh pieces of farm equipment every year.
Barcoding and tracking could hike productivity by 25%, say officials. More than half of all seeds sold in India are not certified by any proper testing agency, and are often of poor quality. The Centre now hopes to mandate uniform certification by pushing through a replacement to the Seeds Act, 1966, in the winter session of Parliament, and also by barcoding all seeds to ensure their traceability. This could increase overall agricultural productivity by up to 25%, Agriculture Ministry officials say. Definition changed “The existing legislation that was enacted over half a century ago needs to be revised urgently. Technology has changed, farmers’ expectations have changed, even the very definition of what is a seed has changed. Planting materials