Nabard has hailed the increased focus on irrigation and dairy sectors in the Budget. This includes the hike in the corpus of long term irrigation fund by another INR 20,000 crore, taking the total fund size to INR 40,000 crore.
The FM also announced a dedicated micro irrigation fund which will be set up by NABARD to attain the goal, ‘per drop more crop’, with an initial corpus of INR 5,000 crore.
This will increase the area under irrigation and improve the efficiency of irrigation.
Improving irrigation efficiency is critical for agriculture since there is only 2.4 per cent of the world’s total geographical area and 16 per cent of the world’s population, yet only 4 per cent of the world’s total fresh water resources.
FM Jaitley setting up of a dairy processing and infrastructure development fund at NABARD with a corpus of INR 8,000 crore over three years. The fund will start with a corpus of INR 2,000 crore.
The dairy cooperative network includes:
- 254 cooperative milk processing units,
- 177 milk unions covering 346 districts and
- over 1,55,634 village-level societies.
About 15.1 million farmers have been brought under the ambit of village level dairy corporative societies up to March 2013.
Still, about 80 per cent of this milk is being collected and distributed by unorganised sector.
The budget said the government will provide support to NABARD for computerisation and integration of all 63,000 functional primary agriculture credit societies (PACS) with the core banking system of district central cooperative banks.
This will be accomplished in three years at an estimated cost of INR 1,900 crore, with financial participation from state governments.