Open source-based platform for agri to be like UPI, says PM Modi

Says farm Budget tries to bridge gap between innovation and pvt investment

Sanjeeb MukherjeeAgencies New Delhi

Addressing an election rally in Shillong, Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Friday said ‘lotus’ will bloom in Meghalaya | Photo: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the participation of the youth in agriculture was lower than in other sectors as private innovation and investment stayed away.
The FY24 Budget has attempted to bridge this gap by proposing an open source-based platform in agriculture, he said at a post-Budget webinar with stakeholders.

“The open source-based platform in agriculture will be just as UPI is for digital transactions and open new doors for innovation and investments by agri-techs,” Modi said.
This was the second webinar addressed by the prime minister. On Thursday, he spoke on the topic of green growth. In all, he is scheduled to address 12 post-Budget webinars till March 11.

The prime minister said the Union Budget 2023-24, like the Budgets of the past 8-9 years, focused on the farm sector and steps were being taken to reduce India’s dependence on imported oilseeds and edible oils. He said India's agriculture Budget had increased manifold to ~1.25 trillion during the past nine years.
“Before we came to power in 2014, the Budget for the agriculture sector was less than ~25,000 crore. Today, it is more than ~1.25 trillion," he said.

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Modi said the government had been working on a mission to boost domestic production of pulses and oilseeds. He noted that India spends around ~1.5 trillion on importing cooking oil.
The prime minister also mentioned that the Budget focuses on agri-tech start-ups and said an accelerator fund too had been proposed to create new funding avenues for them. He said the number of start-ups in farming has risen to over 3,000 from a negligible number nine years ago.

Stating that a new revolution was taking place in the cooperative sector, Modi said the cooperative sector, which was only limited to a few states earlier, was now expanding across the country.
The webinars are being organised by various ministries/departments to build on the "Saptarishi" priorities outlined in the Union Budget 2023-24.

The idea of post-Budget webinars was conceptualised by the prime minister to bring together all stakeholders for bringing synergy in implementation of Budget announcements, an official statement had said earlier this week.

First Published: Feb 24 2023 | 3:55 PM IST

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