Industry experts have come up with an array of suggestions for the Budget FY 2021-22 in which they have asked the government to provide additional funds as well as incentives to promote indigenous farm research, oilseeds production, food processing and organic farming for the overall growth of the agriculture sector.
The direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme should be utilized more to support farmers instead of giving subsidies, they added. "Food processing industry has played an important role in better price realization for the farmer and reducing the cost of intermediaries. The budget must provide special incentives to food processing through incentives such as interest subvention, lower taxes, access to technology and so on," DCM Shriram Chairman and Senior MD Ajay Shriram said.
Referring to the successful PM-KISAN scheme under which Rs 6,000 is paid annually directly into farmers' bank accounts, he said the DBT mechanism should be fine-tuned and gradually should be utilized to support farmers in lieu of other subsidies. "Let the farmer decide how to judicially use the money. With the benefit of DBT, farmers can then buy better seed, use new-age fertilizers, optimize water usage and so on," Shriram said. Stating that many Indian startups have invested in the agri-technology space, he advocated for a policy that encourages growth of these companies and the adoption of latest techniques.