The Indian Interim Union Budget for 2024-2025, presented by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, has brought forth several key highlights that are set to impact various sectors, including the food industry and food tech. Here’s a deep dive into what these announcements mean for these sectors.
Food Subsidy and Fertilizer Subsidy
The Central government estimates the food subsidy bill for FY25 at Rs 2.05 lakh crore, down from Rs 2.12 lakh crore in the current financial year. The fertilizer subsidy is budgeted even lower at Rs 1,64,000 crore for the coming fiscal. These subsidies play a crucial role in ensuring food security and promoting sustainable farming practices.
Agriculture Market and Crop Insurance
The Electronic National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) has integrated 1361 mandis, providing services to 1.8 crore farmers with a trading volume of Rs. 3 lakh crore. Additionally, crop insurance is given to 4 crore farmers under PM Fasal Bima Yojana. These initiatives aim to provide a safety net for farmers and ensure fair pricing for their produce.
Micro Food Processing Enterprises
Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food Processing Enterprises Yojana has assisted 2.4 lakh SHGs and 60000 individuals with credit linkages. This scheme is instrumental in promoting small-scale food processing enterprises, thereby boosting local economies and creating employment opportunities.
Food Processing Market
With the Indian food processing market projected to reach US$ 535 billion by 2025-26 at a CAGR of over 15%, expectations center on strengthening the food processing value chain. This growth is likely to spur innovation and attract investment in the sector.
Innovation in Food Tech
The budget also emphasizes innovation and startups to achieve the goal of a Viksit Bharat by 2047. A corpus of Rs One Lakh Crore is proposed to boost private investment in sunrise technologies. The budget also proposes a new scheme of bio-manufacturing and bio-foundry which will provide environment-friendly alternatives such as biodegradable polymers, bioplastics, biopharmaceuticals, and bio-agri-inputs.
In conclusion, the 2024-2025 Indian Budget presents a promising outlook for the food industry and food tech. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and support for small-scale enterprises, it paves the way for a future where technology and food production go hand in hand. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these policies shape the landscape of the food industry and food tech in India.