The Union Budget’s proposed increase in allocation to agriculture by 84 per cent and made a resolve to double farm income in five years which will open up plenty of opportunities for startups in pre and post-harvesting technologies, according to D.T Raju, the Executive Vice Chairman of Vizianagaram-based Vijaynagar Biotech Ltd.

In an interview here on Tuesday, he said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had laid emphasis on encouraging growth of rural economy – the huge potential to increase the yield by adopting new technologies and improving infrastructure both transportation and storage and to create employment.

He said due to lack of pre and post-harvest technologies, the average corn yield in India per acre is 2.8 quintal as against 9.8 quintal in the United States and world average of 5.6 quintal. Raju said agriculture products worth Rs 2 lakh crore and processed food amounting to Rs 53,000 crore were getting wasted for want of required facilities and hoped that with political will the Centre would take steps for proper implementation of priorities listed in the budget.

He welcomed the promise to give 50 per cent subsidy to those investing in machinery and equipment in pre and post-harvest technologies. Raju said for investments in food processing machinery and equipment the government promised grant of 25 per cent subject to a maximum of Rs 5 crore. This would encourage MSMEs in the rural sector. Food parks would also throw up lot of opportunities for investors and first-time entrepreneurs in food processing and value addition infrastructure.