Seeking to make agriculture and allied sectors profitable and ‘climate smart’, Agriculture Minister P. Pulla Rao presented the Agriculture Budget for 2015-16 with an outlay of Rs.14,184 crore in the Assembly here on Friday.
Presenting a separate budget for agriculture for second year in a row, he said Rs. 4,513 crore was allocated under plan and Rs. 9,670 crore under non-plan.
Mentioning various initiatives and strategies of the State government to enhance productivity levels and increase income of the farmers, he said it was targeted to achieve double digit growth in agriculture. Despite a deficit rainfall of 36 per cent, the agriculture sector registered a growth rate of 5.9 per cent.
The government allocated Rs.4,300 crore for the debt redemption scheme, which he termed as the most important commitment for welfare of farmers. In the first phase in December last, Rs.4,689 crore was credited in favour of 40.5 lakh farmers belonging to 23.22 lakh families. For the second phase, the accounts of another 42.16 lakh farmers were under process.
Reiterating that the government was committed to providing seven hours of free, quality and reliable supply to agricultural sector, Mr. Rao said an allocation of Rs.3,000 crore was made for power subsidy. The other major allocation of Rs. 2,717 crore was made under MNREGA.
The primary sector comprising agriculture and allied sectors contributed 27.84 per cent of the total GSDP of the State during 2013-14. The government intends to increase the contribution substantially this year.