New Delhi, Jan 31: Amid the coronavirus pandemic when the pace of manufacturing and services sector came to a grinding halt, agriculture and allied sectors in India have picked up pace as the country saw the strength of the farm sector.

The government also took care of a large population of the country related to agriculture and farming and enacted new laws to intensify the winds of improvement in the agricultural sector.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the General Budget of the financial year 2021-22 in Parliament on Monday, amid wrangling over agricultural reforms. In such a situation, it is expected that the Narendra Modi government will give priority to agriculture and rural development in the coming budget.

According to the Economic Review 2020-21, while the industry and services sectors are projected to fall by 9.6 per cent and 8.8 per cent, respectively, in the current financial year, the growth rate of agriculture and allied sectors can remain at 3.4 per cent. The agriculture and allied sectors recorded a growth rate of 3.4 per cent at constant prices during 2020-21 (first advance estimate).

The Modi government’s priority has been to double the income of farmers by 2022 and to develop basic facilities in villages including ‘pucca’ houses for all the poor in the country. Therefore, with a view to achieving these goals, the budgetary allocation of major schemes of agriculture and rural development sector can be expected to increase in the coming budget.

The government will also focus on the scheme to provide short-term agricultural loans to farmers at affordable interest rates. Other schemes of the agriculture sector like the Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme, the Prime Minister Agricultural Irrigation Scheme, can also be given importance in this budget.

Agricultural economists point out that along with agriculture, the government will give prominence to the plans of the food processing industry, which will help in achieving the goal of doubling the income of farmers. – IANS