A digital push for agri but with less funds (Live Mint)
- Impact Area
A new digital infrastructure for farmers and an accelerator fund to encourage startups were among the major announcements in India’s latest budget, writes Live Mint in a story. The digital public infrastructure for agriculture will be built as an open-source public good that will enable farmer-centric solutions. The proposed digital agri-stack will aid farmers with better crop planning and help them access credit and insurance services. The digital infrastructure will also support the growth of agri-tech startups.
The budget for agriculture research was raised from ₹8,514 crore in 2022-23 (BE) to ₹9,504 crore in 2023-24 (BE).
“It’s heartening to see the government increase of the budget for research but given that livestock and fisheries are prime drivers of farm sector growth, it is time they get their due share,” said Avinash Kishore, a research fellow in the South Asia Region office of the International Food Policy Research Institute. “The basic problem in agriculture is the paucity of public capital investments. Subsidies (including on fertilizers) have grown phenomenally and the government is spending a chunk of the farm budget on cash transfer schemes. It’s time to consider whether these funds can be used better,” Kishore added.