Budget 2019

'Rural economy will be benefited in a big way'

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on February 29, 2016

With the impetus given to agriculture, the Union Budget has addressed the “bottom of the pyramid” and this would benefit the rural economy in a big way, says Shivdas B.Menon, Managing Director of the Kerala-based Sterling Group of companies engaged in agriculture business.

The Budget, according to him, has taken care of farmers by giving a lot of thrust on rural development, which is a very positive sign. The funds allocated for irrigation and water resource management, which has been a perennial problem as far as the Indian agriculture sector is concerned, would help the sector to go hi-tech.

Menon, who is also the former Chairman, CII-Kerala, said that the 100 per cent FDI in food processing sector would indirectly help farmers as they were not able to find proper markets for their produce.

The unified platform to connect wholesale agriculture markets would address those issues. The soil health cards would equip farmers to understand the nutrient value of the soil and apply the required quantity of fertiliser inputs to increase production.

“Since agriculture comes under the purview of the states’ subject, it is up to the respective state governments to derive the best out of it”, Menon said.

Likewise the funds allotted for improving the road and rail infrastructure would also help the agriculture produce to reach the end consumers without any hassle, Menon said, citing the difficulties in receiving apples in the Kerala market vis-a-vis easy availability of Washington apples in the State due to logistical advantages.

According to K B Rajan, President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the 100 per dent FDI allowed in food products produced and marketed in India will bring in more employment opportunities to the agriculture sector.

C S Kartha, President, Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry pointed out that the decision to bring in a unified agriculture market e-platform and to increase the acreage under organic farming are good initiatives to boost the sector.

Published on February 29, 2016
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