BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA: Odisha Government on Friday tabled the separate agriculture budget of Rs 13,181.89 Crore in the state assembly.
The budget is about 20.89 percent more than the outlay for the previous year. The outlay for the budget is about 14.02 percent of the total outlay of the general budget for 2016-17.
Presenting the agriculture budget, Finance Minister Pradeep Amat proposed a start-up fund for the promotion of entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector business, agriculture-based industries, and enterprises.
The budget focused on crop diversification from paddy to other cereals and other high-value crops.
The budget also proposed to provide irrigation to one million hectares (ha) of cultivable land for five years (2014-19), including 257,000 ha in 2016-17.
“We have planned for providing irrigation to additional 10 lakh hectares of cultivable land over a period of five years – 2014-2019. So far, additional two lakh hectares have come under irrigation,” said Amat.
The government proposed to provide irrigation facilities for another 2.57 lakh hectares during the year 2016-17.
“The focus will be on completion of on-going major, medium and minor irrigation projects along with the installation of Mega Lift, Shallow and Deep Bore Wells and Micro Irrigation facilities to optimize water use efficiency,” said the finance minister.
The budget also proposed to enhance the provision for Water Resources Department from Rs.6212.15 crore in 2015-16 under both non-plan and plan to Rs.7241.66 crore in 2016-17, which is an increase of about 16.57 percent.
As women contribute a significant portion of the state, the government proposed to launch a special programme for ‘Promotion of Gender Friendly Tools for Farm Women in Odisha’ so as to relieve them of drudgery and improve their work efficiency.
The budget proposed to enhance the provision for Agriculture department from Rs.3124.38 crore in 2015-16 under both Non-Plan and Plan to Rs.3438.91 crore in 2016-17, which is an increase of about 10.07 percent.
Besides, the budget offers an interest subvention of Rs 227.38 crore over a period of three years for drought affected farmers for conversion of short-term loan to a medium term loan in the aftermath of the drought.