Stakeholders in the agriculture and commodities sector have welcomed the proposals presented in Interim Budget for 2024-25, saying the measures are visionary and aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in some of the areas.
Ajay Jhunjhunwala, President of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), said: “We extend our appreciation to the government for unveiling the visionary ‘Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan’, which focuses on key oilseeds like mustard, groundnut, sesame, soyabean, and sunflower. This initiative encompasses crucial aspects such as research for high-yielding varieties, the widespread adoption of modern farming techniques, establishment of market linkages, procurement, value addition, and crop insurance.”
He requested the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to provide adequate financial support for the successful implementation of the ‘Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan’.
“Furthermore, we commend the government for introducing a comprehensive programme to support dairy and fisheries farmers. This initiative demonstrates a holistic commitment to enhancing the overall agricultural sector and ensuring the well-being of our farming communities,” he said.
Anand Ramanathan, Partner and Consumer, Products and Retail Sector Leader, Deloitte India, said, the Budget continues to support growth and productivity in agriculture through interventions in crop insurance, encouraging use of nano fertilizers, promoting self-sufficiency in oilseed production and increasing investments in micro food processing.
“Also, from a protein stand point, boosting dairy productivity and supporting sea food exports are some of the big areas of focus. These announcements will provide employment opportunities for the rural economy,” Anand Ramanathan said.
Manoj Purohit, Partner and leader - FS Tax, Tax and Regulatory Services of BDO India, said the government has continued its support to farmers under the crop insurance facility and intends to further strengthen the same. This will ensure penetration and awareness around insurance in rural India thereby providing a boost to the insurance industry.
Saroj Mahapatra, Executive Director at PRADAN, said: “We applaud the government’s efforts in assisting 25 crore people to get rid of multi-dimensional poverty, with the pursuit of Sabka Saath.
“It is commendable that 83 lakh SHGs (self help groups) with 9 crore women have been integrated for transforming the rural social economic landscape. We would also request the government to increase the number of Women FPOs (Farmers Producer Organisation), so that India can create more ‘lakhpati didis’ in the next two-three years. Multi-stakeholder partnerships will also bring about large scale transformative changes in the lives of rural poor and more targeted investment in the poverty clusters,” Mahapatra said.
Narinder Wadhwa, National President of CPAI, said the Interim Budget 2024-25 signifies a landmark commitment to fiscal discipline, highlighted by a projected GDP of 5.1 per cent.
“Initiatives to address post-harvest distress in agriculture, rural development, and the rooftop solar scheme underscore a transformative journey towards inclusive growth and sustainability,” Wadhwa said.
Amandeep Panwar, Co-Founder and Director of BharatRohan, said the ₹20-lakh crore allocation for targeted agricultural credit and the launch of the Agriculture Accelerator Fund are commendable.
“They ensure vital financial support for farmers to adopt new technologies and improve their farming practices, while also being equally promising for driving rural innovation and supporting agri-tech start-ups,” Panwar added.
Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director of Insecticides India Ltd, said, “The continuation of flagship schemes such as the PM Kisan Samman Yojana and PM Fasal Bima Yojana, providing direct financial assistance and crop insurance respectively, exemplifies the government’s dedication to safeguarding the livelihoods of our farmers. Moreover, the integration of mandis and the significant trading volume achieved therein highlight the government’s efforts towards modernising agricultural markets and enhancing the efficiency of agricultural trade.”
Sanjiv Kanwar, Managing Director of Yara South Asia, said, “ The increase in MSP for producers whenever required and the provision of basic goods has raised rural real income, which is a positive step towards ensuring the well-being of our farmers. We are also pleased to see the government’s commitment to modernising storage, supply chains, and branding in the farm sector, which will benefit both farmers and consumers. Overall, we believe that this Budget will provide a much-needed boost to the agriculture sector and encourage private and public investment in post-harvest activities.”
Ajai Rana, Chairman, FSII, CEO and Managing Director, Savannah Seeds Pvt Ltd, said the seed industry is particularly happy to see the emphasis given on oilseeds and the imperative to make the sector self-reliant in this interim Budget.
KC Ravi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Syngenta India Pet Ltd and Chairman of CropLife India, said digital infrastructure and infusion of technology is imperative to not only sustain the momentum but also to take the agriculture growth story to its logical conclusion.
“The focus on self-reliance in edible oils and investment in post-harvest activities are some of the measures that can make this happen. The full Budget has to address some pending reforms needed to further boost the impressive growth of India’s agrochemical sector. An enabling predictable science based policy environment is absolutely essential to provide farmers cutting edge technologies to fight against climate threats besides the ever increasing complex pests and diseases threatening crop yields. It is important that the industry is encouraged to invest in R and D for bringing newer molecules and technologies complemented by AI and digital technologies,” Ravi said.”
Alekh Sanghera, Co-Founder and CEO of FarMart, said the Budget 2024-25 is a great step towards a promising and bountiful agri-tech future. The Budget provisions strengthened agriculture value chains through food processing infrastructure, minimised wastage and crop insurance.
“ This budget fuels India’s agri-tech ecosystem, ensuring local and global food security,” Sanghera said.
Simon Wiebusch, President of Bayer South Asia and Vice Chairman, MD and CEO of Bayer CropScience Ltd (BCSL), said the Finance Minister’s announcement, identifying women and farmers as key focus groups for powering India’s growth, has set the stage for policies that can substantially boost development in rural areas.
“While the Budget’s focus on advancing sustainability initiatives across sectors, improving farmer incomes, and women empowerment will help fulfil the Prime Minister’s vision of a ‘Viksit Bharat’, its proactive approach on women’s health is a crucial step towards ensuring preventive healthcare for a large section of the population,” Wiebusch said.
Joby CO, CEO and Co-Founder of KiVi, said, “The Interim Budget 2024-25 has been positive for agritech and agri-fintech companies. The focus on Electronic National Agricultural Market and technology provisions made for mandis will benefit companies many agri-fintech companies.”
Ashvin Patil, Founder and Director of Biofuels Junction, said that a significant challenge addressed in the Budget is the large-scale collection of stubble, particularly the capital-intensive process involving balers.
“Measures such as financial assistance for biomass aggregation machinery outlines a crucial initiative to address this issue and unlock the economic and environmental benefits of converting agricultural residues into biofuels. The focus on transforming agri-waste into biofuels not only contributes to sustainable waste management but also aligns with the larger vision of promoting green growth and reducing carbon emissions in the country. It will also help farmers generate income on agri-waste,” Patil added.
Jinesh Shah, Managing Partner of Omnivore, said India’s dependence on edible oil imports has been a shadow on the ‘Atmanirbhar’ sentiment of the country. With the ‘Atmanirbhar Oil Seeds Abhiyan’, a reboot of the Yellow Revolution is afoot. This not only serves to make India self-sufficient in edible oil but also, with efficient implementation, will have a lasting impact on farmer incomes.
Shashi Singh, Partner - Agriculture, PwC India, said the focus on ‘Aatmanirbhar Oilseeds’ mission to achieve self-reliance in production and reduce imports is a big positive. However, a strong integrated oilseed value chain supported by a calibrated policy ecosystem is crucial to unlock the full potential, Singh said.
Tharakeswar G, Co-Founder of Dvara E-Registry, said the Agriculture Accelerator Fund will help startups invest in digital tools, making information and resources accessible to all. Additionally, ₹20 lakh crore credit fuels growth in animal husbandry and dairy farming.
Prasanna Rao, Co-Founder and CEO of Arya.ag, said the government’s Interim Budget for 2024-25 not only rightfully prioritised agricultural growth but also made farmers one of the four key focus priorities of the government this year.
“It is uplifting and aligns with our core mission to empower farmers and drive innovation within the agricultural sector. The government’s emphasis on value addition and income enhancement for farmers is inspiring and reinforces our stance on the matter,” Rao said.
Devendra Shah, Chairman of Parag Milk Foods, said the government’s commitment to the dairy sector, recognizing its significance as the largest agri commodity that sustains the livelihoods of 80 million dairy farmers should be applauded. With the focus on the agriculture sector, the announcement of a comprehensive programme for dairy farmers, coupled with efforts to control foot and mouth disease, is a positive step. The commitment to promote indigenous breeds and fostering research and development in the dairy sector through government schemes lays the foundation for increased productivity and sustainable growth.
Davish Jain, Chairman of the Soybean Processor’s Association of India (SOPA), lauded the government’s announcement for achieving self-reliance in the oilseeds such as soyabean, sunflower and mustard and thrust on research for high-yielding varieties of seeds, adoption of modern farming techniques among others, which according to him, will contribute to achieving ‘aatmnirbharta’ in oilseeds.
SK Chaudhary, Founder Director of Safex Chemicals, said “We believe that the move to help micro food processing enterprises via 2.4 lakh SHGs and individuals through credit linkages and promoting of public and private investment in a range of post-harvest storage solutions will not only give a fillip to faster growth but will also benefit domestic agri players.” He launded the formulation of a strategy to achieve self-reliance in oilseeds.
Kumar Ranjan, CEO and Co-Founder of eFeed, said the Indian Budget 2024’s focus on integrating advanced technologies like AI, ML, and IoT into agriculture marks a transformative era for the sector. These technologies will enable precision agriculture and livestock management, significantly enhancing farmer productivity and ROI.
Anjali Bansal, Founding Partner of Avaana Capital, said “By promoting the growth of climate resilience in our agriculture and food supply chains, we are investing in the long-term sustainability and profitability of our agribusiness sector,” Bansal said.
Kishan Karunakaran, CEO of Buyofuel, said in a move that resonates with Buyofuel’s vision, the government’s backing for biomass aggregation and compressed biogas blending heralds a new era in India’s energy landscape. This crucial support, especially in providing financial aid for biomass aggregation machinery, aligns perfectly with our efforts to streamline the complex supply chain.
Simultaneously, the progressive mandate for CBG (Compressed Bio Gas) blending marks a pivotal shift, ensuring biofuels remain a key player in powering India’s journey towards a greener, more sustainable future, Karunakaran said.
Sanjay Borkar, CEO and Co-Founder of FarmERP, said the Budget underscores a transformative vision for the ag-tech sector, allocating a substantial corpus of ₹1 lakh crore to fuel private sector research and innovation in emerging domains.
Satyajit Hange, Co-Founder Farmer, Two Brothers Organic Farms, said the government’s unwavering support for the agricultural sector is laudable and the government’s initiatives are a strong foundation for a greener and more sustainable future.
Pramod Chaudhari, Executive Chairman of Praj Industries, said the announcement of a new scheme for propagating bio-manufacturing to introduce environment-friendly alternatives on regenerative principles is a welcome step for the inclusive growth of the farming community. This will further boost bio-economy’s contribution to the nation’s GDP in times to come.
Shishir Joshipura, CEO and MD of Praj Industries, said the announcement of financial assistance for biomass collection and equipment as a part of the Budget is an excellent step that will help build a resilient feedstock supply chain.
Amith Agarwal, Co-Founder and Director of Staragri Ltd, said: “AThe focus on eNAM, which now integrates over 1350 physical mandis and serves around 1.8 crore farmers. We believe digitising Indian farmlands will facilitate more farmers’ access to online e-mandi services.”
Amit Sinha, Co-Founder of Unnati, sai the government’s dedication to fostering green growth is highly uplifting, particularly with the introduction of the bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry scheme.
Simon George, President Cargill India and Managing Director Cargill Food Business, South Asia, said the intent to achieve ‘atmanirbharta’ in oilseeds production, increased focus on dairy and fisheries farming and private and public investment in post-harvest activities like modern storage, efficient supply chains, and marketing, signal a transformative chapter in agriculture.
Tarun Sawhney, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd, said noteworthy interventions such as the promotion of crop insurance, encouragement for the use of nano diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizers, and both private and public investments in post-harvest activities, are poised to enhance agricultural productivity and generate new employment opportunities for farmers.
Dhanashree Mandhani, Founder and CEO of Salam Kisan, said the government’s e-NAM initiative has paved the way for transparent transactions and data-driven insights. “In the similar manner, we’ve been supporting the farming community across rural India with data-driven agritech solutions that connect various agricultural stakeholders, and it is encouraging to see our alignment with the government’s goal,” she said.
Narinder Mittal, Country Manager and Managing Director, Agriculture Business, CNH India and SAARC, said the allocation of financial assistance to support the procurement of biomass aggregation is a commendable move. Encouraging farmers to participate in the bioenergy supply chain not only promotes sustainable agricultural waste management but also opens up new opportunities for income generation.
Nishant Kanodia, Chairman, Matix Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, said, “The government’s comprehensive approach strengthens our nation’s food security while heralding a future where progress is synonymous with environmental and socio-economic inclusivity.”
Suhas Baxi, Co-Founder and CEO of BioFuelCircle, said the Finance Minister’s mention in the Interim Budget 2024 of providing financial assistance for the procurement of biomass aggregation equipment addresses one of the biggest bottlenecks in the green energy supply chain. This will now help create strong rural enterprises focused on the bioenergy sector.
Madan Mohan, CEO of Gir Amritphal Dairy Farms, said, “The Budget 2024’s focus on animal husbandry is a positive step for Indian agriculture. Recognising the need to improve milk and dairy production, the government plans to support dairy farmers comprehensively. The strategy to boost oilseeds production, along with investments in post-harvest activities and the use of advanced fertilizers, shows a commitment to modernise agriculture.
Overall, the Budget aims to enhance productivity and income for farmers, focusing on both crops and livestock, he said.