Agriculture

NABARD to promote rural credit through slew of new measures

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Aiming to improve the prospects of rural credit and infrastructure facilities, especially warehousing, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has initiated a fleet of new measures.The measures involve distinct aspects like Crop-Specific Pilot Projects, NABARD Warehousing Scheme and reduction in the rate of interest on refinance provided to banks for investment credit. The measures were outlined during the 198thDr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD.meeting of the Board of Directors held at New Delhi, and was chaired by

Under these measures, NABARD has approved three crop-specific Pilot Projects with production and post-production interventions. The projects will be implemented through Primary Agriculture Co-operative Society (PACS) business models at West Bengal, Haryana and Maharashtra. A total outlay ofRs37.20 crore has been outlined for the projects, comprising loan and grant support from NABARD of Rs18.43 crore and Rs 2.43 crore respectively. Besides, a subsidy support of Rs16.34 crore will be also allotted by the Central/State governments. The pilot project envisages crop-specific market surveys,identification of specific market players and marketing support through establishment of Project Management Facilitation Centres (PMFCs).

The state-owned body has also sanctioned 548 warehousing projects in seven states, worth Rs1,046crore under the NABARD Warehousing Scheme (NWS). The projects on completion is anticipate tocreate an additional storage scientific space of 11.30 lakh million tones for agricultural commodities and will assist farmers in gaining better commodity prices.

Revision in the rate of interest is the other initiative outlined by NABARD for investment credit, where in the refinance rate has been brought down by 20 basis points for a period of five years. The measures are anticipated to give a boost to banks for extending investment credit and creation of much-needed warehousing infrastructure facilities for agricultural commodities in the country.

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