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NABARD concern: ‘Gap between potential, achievement in farm sector needs to be filled’

The state focus paper for the year 2021-22 states that as on March 31, 2020, against a target of Rs 78,434 crore under total agriculture loan in Gujarat, the disbursement was Rs 69,325 crore, which was 88 per cent of the target.

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
Updated: March 19, 2021 3:49:23 pm
The Act is one of the three contentious farm laws against which farmers are protesting. The stated position of most of these parties is against all three laws; the Congress wants them repealed.

Officials of the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD), while presenting the state focus paper for Gujarat on Thursday, expressed concern regarding the decreasing credit flow in the agriculture sector.

In the state focus paper unveiled by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, NABARD has projected a target of Rs 2.25 lakh crore for 2021-22 for financing by banks under agriculture, MSMEs and other priority sectors of the state which is 20.32 per cent higher than last year’s Rs 1.87 lakh crore.

“Whatever potential we asses each year usually comes close to the actual credit flow in the state. Banks need to work more in the agricultural sector, because there is a gap between the potential we asses and the achievement,” said DK Mishra, chief general manager of NABARD, while addressing a gathering.

The state focus paper for the year 2021-22 states that as on March 31, 2020, against a target of Rs 78,434 crore under total agriculture loan in Gujarat, the disbursement was Rs 69,325 crore, which was 88 per cent of the target. In comparison, disbursements to other priority areas like MSMEs and Housing saw achievements of 164 per cent and 121 per cent respectively.

“If I talk of KCC (Kisan Credit Card) which is a tool for disbursements of crop loans, then Government of India is worried about Gujarat along with other states. Under PM-Kisan Yojana, Gujarat has about 57 lakh beneficiaries, there are only 26-27 lakh KCC holders,” Mishra said adding that the gap can be reduced if state government steps in.

“When the distribution of land happens in the family, the ownership does. To get transferred. They become beneficiaries for PM Kisan, but do not become eligible for KCC as per the norms of the banks,” he added.

C Saraswathi, general manger of NABARD, spoke about the Ground level Credit (GLC) flow in priority sector for Gujarat and said, “There is a matter of concern. Despite the GLC of MSMEs increasing 47 per cent to 51 per cent (during 2018-19 and 2019-20), GLC for agriculture has been decreasing for the past 2-3 years. The share of GLC has declined from 42 per cent to 38 per cent. This can become a serious problem in the coming future. So, agricultural loans, especially term loans, have to be increased.”

“Gujarat is the country’s fifth largest economy and contributes 8 per cent to the country’s GDP,” said the official of NABARD which is the apex bank for all matters related to agriculture and rural development and for credit disbursement.

With more than 68 per cent farmers in the small and marginal holding categories, NABARD intends to promote more FPOs or Farmers Producer Organisations.

Incubation centre

NABARD also announced setting up of the first incubation centre at Sardarkrushinagar Dantewada Agricultural University in Banaskantha. The project cost is about Rs 10.5 crore of which NABARD will provide grant assistance of Rs 7.81 crore. “In next five years, 145 startups will be incubated in the agriculture and rural sector,” Mishra added. This will be the sixth such incubation centre of NABARD in the country.

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