`The Finance Minister, Mr. P. Chidambaram has made the following proposals related to Agriculture during the Union Budget 2013 in the Lok Sabha.

  • Allocation to NABARD’s RIDF (Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) has been raised to Rs 20,000 crores to finance construction of Godowns, Warehouses, Silos and Cold Stores. This scheme will also be eligible to be used by village panchayats (councils) for construction of godowns in villages.
  • East Indian states to become major contributors to rice production due to the Green Revolution in Eastern India programme. These states will be supported with an additional Rs. 1000 crores.
  • Ministry of Agriculture has been allocated Rs 27,049 crore for FY 13-14, up 22% from last year.
  • Agriculture research allocated a budget of Rs. 3,415 crores.
  • Agriculture Credit surpassed Rs. 5,75,000 crore during FY 2012-13. The target for the coming year FY 2013-14 will be raised to Rs 7,00,000 crores
  • Under an existing scheme, farmers who returm loans on time are eligible for loans at a subsidized rate of 4%. This scheme has been extended to private loans from scheduled banks
  • The Finance Minister announced a Crop Diversification scheme with an outlay of Rs 500 crores to encourage crop diversification among farmers.
  • Outlay for the Integrated Watershed Programme has been raised to Rs 5387 crore from around Rs 3500 crore in the previous year.
  • The Minister announced Rs 200 crore for pilot programmes for “nutri farms” – farms that produce crops with better nutrition such as iron-rich bajra and zinc-rich wheat
  • Announcement of  setting up of a Plant Protection Institute in Raipur, Chattisgarh and an Indian Institute of Biotechnology at Ranchi
  • The current scheme to rejuvenate coconut farms has been extended to the entire state of Kerala with an additional outlay of Rs 75 crores.
  • To encourage Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), Mr Chidambaram announced a matching equity grant of up to Rs 10 lakh per FPO. This will help FPOs who are already doing a good job in helping farmers get better market linkages.
  • He announced a credit guarantee scheme to be available through the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC)
  • The National Livestock Mission has been granted an additional Rs 307 crores, with a sub-mission for increasing availability of feed and fodder.
  • For the National Food Security Bill which is expected to be presented in Parliament during the Budget Session, he announced setting aside an additional Rs 10,000 crore over and above the current food subsidies.