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Creating facilities to double farmers income: Jaitley

IANS | New Delhi |

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday the government has been creating “instrumentalities” like providing agricultural inputs at lower cost and making cheap credit available to farmers so as to double their income.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Forum here, Jaitley said the government is trying to improve infrastructure like roads, irrigation, electrification, housing and sanitation in rural areas.

“… Making inputs available to the farmers at affordable cost with some element of state subsidy, ensuring that credit is available to farmers in large quantums and that a sizeable part of the interest is subvented by the state from its own revenues,” Jaitley said at the event hosted by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

“… In an event of a crop failure the farmer gets the benefit of insurance which is subsidiesd by the state itself. These are various instrumentalities that we have been creating within the affordable limits of our budget size.”

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had unveiled a seven-point strategy to double the income of farmers in six years with measures to step up irrigation, provide better quality seeds and prevent post-harvest losses.

The forum is jointly organised by NABARD and Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), a regional association of Asia-Pacific countries that promotes cooperation, mutual exchange and expertise in the field of rural finance.