In the upcoming Union Budget, we would like to see the government propose a combination of strong agricultural science and good policy for farmers which is incumbent and a highly required need for the rural areas of India. In 2017 the Indian agriculture industry witnessed a huddle like GST where agrochemicals came under an 18% slab.
These changes in the tax slab has impacted the profit margins of agriculture input companies. This year, we would request the government to either remove the GST or reduce it to 5%, so that farmers gets pesticides at reasonable price to safeguard their crops from pest and diseases.
A lot of farmers' distress in 2017 also occurred because they were not able to sell their produce at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) assured by the government. Ultimately the produce were sold at much lower rates in local mandis and some remained even unsold in the cold storage.
This year we expect the government to make provisions of purchasing the total output from farmers on fixed MSP. Apart from that, we also request for special emphasis to be put on issues like proper storage facilities, available at low cost, and micro-irrigation technique for agriculture, which in return will help in enhancing the livelihood of farmers.
Currently 60% of Indian agriculture is still dependent on rains and 40% land gets irrigation facility. Government must bring more acreages under irrigation facility to improve farmers yield.
As India is moving to digitization we should now transfer the latest technology to the farmers for modernizing farming. The Agriculture Department should provide the latest technology to the farmers to increase their output and profitability.
Further, we would request government to focus on improving infrastructure at village so that the farmers do not migrate from village to city. Lastly, we would also expect early implementation of reduced corporate tax of 25%."
(The writer is Managing Director, Dhanuka Agritech)