Rajasthan to introduce new 'agriculture budget' for farmers' welfare: Minister

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Jaipur, Mar 15 (PTI) The Rajasthan government gives priority to the agriculture sector and a new “agriculture budget” will be introduced in the state from next year to fulfill the dreams of farmers, Agriculture Minister Lal Chand Kataria said on Monday.

Efforts are being made to provide all facilities to the farmers online through innovations. Also, the department is working to provide agricultural equipment on rent, Kataria said.

He was replying to the discussion on demand for grants in the state assembly following which the House passed over Rs 37.56 billion for agriculture and Rs 18.29 billion for animal husbandry departments by a voice vote.

Kataria said farmers will have to adopt organic farming and informed the assembly that at present, more than 1.30 lakh farmers of the state were engaged in organic farming.

A new scheme of Rs 23 crore has been chalked out for the protection of camels, he said, adding that a committee has been formed for the animal’s conservation.

He urged farmers to conserve rain water and adopt modern methods in agriculture as it will not only facilitate ease of farming, but also increase income.

Kataria said despite the adverse circumstances created by COVID-19, the growth rate of agriculture and allied sector has been 3.45 per cent.

The minister informed that in the financial year 2019-20 and 2020-21, the state share of premium of Rs 4,295 crore has been paid so far under the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme. The outstanding liability of Rs 1,135 crore of the previous government has also been paid, he said.

He informed that from January 2019 till now, 56.95 lakh farmers have been given a record payment of insurance claim of Rs 8,483 crore.

In the year 2020-21, the highest budget of Rs 2,303.22 crore has been made available under the state premium.

He said that additional Rs 1,750 crore has been provided in the last two years in the Farmers’ Welfare Fund. PTI AG RHL