In its bid to appear farmer friendly, the Odisha government today presented a separate agriculture budget for the second consecutive year with an outlay of Rs 2727.99 crore, which is a whopping 50% higher than Rs 1823.77 allocated last year. Plan outlay for the sector has been raised to Rs 2234.92 crore from Rs 1397.24 crore in the last fiscal.

The Plan outlay would include crop husbandry, horticulture, soil and water conservation, agriculture research and education and other agricultural interventions. Presenting the agriculture budget, Finance Minister Pradip Amat said the government is committed to the growth of the sector and that allocations in several schemes have been increased this year.

While Major and Medium Irrigation Projects have been allocated Rs 1985 crore in the budget, Rs 1166.95 crore have been earmarked for Minor Irrigation Projects while Sustainable Harnessing of Ground Water in water deficit areas will get Rs 520 crore. Similarly, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana has been allocated Rs 550 crore while Rs 150 crore will be spent on popularisation of agricultural implements, equipment & diesel pump sets.

Promising to provide timely loan to the farmers, the budget has made provision of interest subvention on short term crop loans (Rs 426.38 crore). The Budget has a provision of Rs 2.5 crore to provide free mobile phones, each costing Rs 1000, to the farmers to help them access latest market prices of agricultural products.

The budget has a provision of Rs 100 crore for Odisha Dedicated Agriculture and Fishery Feeder scheme.

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