1. Agriculture World

Union Budget 2022: What the Agritech Sector Expects from Upcoming Budget

Nirmala Sitaraman, Union Finance Minister, Government of India, is set to present the Union Budget 2022 to Parliament on February 1, 2022.

Shivani Meena
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In the face of the pandemic, the finance ministry is looking at numerous solutions to help the country's growth and the common people. In the case of a downturn, the budget for 2022 will assist the economy's revival while also improving the lives of Indian citizens. 

Considering hardships due to covid-19 third waves, the Agritech sector is expecting a lot from the Indian Government this time. R&D incentivization, automation, mechanization of the farm, supportive inputs for start-ups are some of the predictions by experts. Listed below are some of the expectations by Agritech startups and other sectors.

Taranjeet Singh Bhamra, CEO & Founder, AgNext Technologies:

2021 was a good year for the agritech sector, which flourished with strong investments and greater adoption of technologies in the market. To support this growth momentum, acute focus on the development of the burgeoning agritech ecosystem is pivotal. We hope that the upcoming budget will prioritize R&D incentivization in agriculture, along with the supportive impetus to allow agritech businesses, particularly start-ups, to scale domestically at a greater pace.

Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder & CEO, Aquaconnect:

“The PMMSY has shown some great results since its implementation. To accelerate the Blue Revolution 2.0, we expect a greater push to promote digital solutions across the value chain right from pre-production to post-harvest to bring predictability, efficiency, and traceability. Incentivizing farmers with better subsidies to adopt data-driven farming, farm monitoring & automation tools will eventually ease and accelerate the wider tech adoption and drive the transition of farmers towards modern farming systems with improved productivity.

To achieve the PMMSY targets, the need of the hour is to drive the inclusion of formal finance and insurance in aquaculture. High insurance premiums demotivate the farmers from availing any risk mitigation for their crops, hence subsidizing insurance premiums will help fish and shrimp farmers to mitigate production risks and reduce production costs to a great extent. Further, increasing the fisheries KCC limit from the current range will help farmers meet their farming expenses entirely.”

Amit Sinha, Co-Founder, Unnati

“The Agriculture sector has seen significant progress over the years, primarily owing to technological advancements, although this can be improved further. In the upcoming 2022-2023 Union Budget, we expect the government to keep farmer upliftment, alongside rural growth and development as their topmost priority. An increase in investments of rural infrastructure, MSME development, digitization of the agri-ecosystem, and farmer productivity prioritization of Agritech to fund early-stage start-ups that are disrupting the agricultural economy also need to be focused on.

The Agritech industry will require support from the government in terms of tax benefits, eligibility criteria, etc., to boost the progress the sector is making and make agriculture a robust, tech-led sector. Some additional focus areas could be the allocation of funds for increased digitalization in the agricultural ecosystem, the promotion of collaboration between district governance and Agritech startups in order to bring innovative solutions to the farmers’ market, providing subsidies or cutbacks on taxes to farmers who opt for Agritech products. Easy access to capital, tax relaxation, and interest subvention to encourage FPO setups will allow the agritech industry to grow quickly and will help FPOs to gain traction in this new era.

Besides these, financial support to farmers, extensions to important government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, PM-Kisan Scheme, etc., are certain elements the government will need to turn their attention to. Overall, the sector has significant expectations from the government for this year’s Union Budget, and we hope that the concerns are addressed to make agriculture a technologically advanced sector and enhance farmers’ living standards.”

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