Budget Speech for 2024–2025

Agriculture Sector

The agriculture sector is essential to our future. The effects of climate change on food security and the availability of food crops cannot be ignored. Thus, we shall offer a number of initiatives to aid in the agro-industry’s comeback.

Crop Industry

In an effort to lessen our reliance on imports and increase local food crop production, we are offering :

1.50% of the total grant, up to a maximum of Rs 500,000, for the building of up to two sheltered farms, including the replacement of plastic nets;

2.50% of the total grant for the purchase of fertilizers; 

3.75% of the total grant for seeds for potatoes, onions, carrots, beans, garlic, and tomatoes; 

4.25% of the total grant for small planters to purchase equipment;

5. Lastly, 30% of the total grant for cooperatives to purchase equipment to increase local production

Additionally, the government will give planters who buy fully equipped container farming facilities the following benefits:

  1.  A grant of Rs. 1 million and concessionary leasing options from IFCM;
  2. Rs. 10 million for the improvement of track roads, drains, and sheltered farms at the Britannia Organic Zone;
  3. Rs. 50 million for the establishment of a cold storage facility at the National Wholesale Market to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

Support for Tea Industry

The government would give tea cooperatives Rs 6 million to continue the Road Mending Scheme in order to support the resurgence of the tea industry. From now on, tea producers who own and operate at least one acre of land will be eligible for duty-free shopping when purchasing a double cab. Lastly, we will raise the winter allowance for tea growers from Rs 2.50 per kg to Rs 4.50 per kg, an increase of 80%.

Support for Impacted Planters

To help planters who have been impacted by unfavorable weather, we are:

(a) keeping the cash compensation for the first crop cycle at Rs 6,000 per arpent per year.

(b) adding a cash compensation of Rs 3,000 per arpent per year for the second crop cycle;

Reviving the Cane Industry

The cane industry has been revived by us. Over the past three years, almost 9,900 acreages of land have been replanted thanks to the Cane Replantation Scheme and Cane Revolving Fund Scheme. To maintain the sugar cane plantations’ renewal:

  1. To rehabilitate abandoned cane fields, we are raising the grant under the Cane Replantation Scheme from Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per acre; 
  2. The DBM’s Cane Revolving Fund Scheme will be extended for an additional year. The 50% subsidy on sugar production that is certified green will remain in place.

Support for Small Cane Planters

The government will do the following for planters who produce up to 60 tons of sugar:

(a) Continue to pay the Sugar Insurance Fund Board the premium;

(b) Offer a 50% subsidy on fertilizer purchases;

(c) Continue to offer financial assistance of Rs 150,000 for drip irrigation system purchases;

(d) Waive CESS with regard to crop 2024. In addition, we are raising the minimum guaranteed sugar revenue for harvest 2024 by 20% over a two-year period, to Rs 30,000 per ton.

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