Bhubaneswar, March 19:
The Odisha government on Friday tabled a separate agriculture budget of Rs.13,181.89 crore of 2016-17 in the state assembly.
The agriculture budget is about 20.89 percent more than the outlay for the previous year and about 14.02 percent of the total outlay of the general budget for 2016-17, said Finance Minister Pradeep Amat.
The government proposed a start-up fund for promotion of entrepreneurship in agriculture business, agriculture-based industries and enterprises.
“To promote value addition in agriculture, we need to promote entrepreneurship in the field. We propose a start up fund for promotion of entrepreneurship in agri-business, agriculture based industries and enterprises,” said Amat.
He said unemployed graduates in agriculture and allied sectors will be motivated to start agro-based enterprises.
Focusing on crop diversification from paddy to other cereals and other high value crops, the budget proposed to provide irrigation to one million hectares (ha) of cultivable land for a period of five years (2014-19), including 257,000 ha in 2016-17.
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 medium term loan in the aftermath of the drought. (IANS)