INDIA - To provide farmers with credit support, Indian government has planned $131 billion credit support for agriculture sector during 2014-15 financial year.
Speaking at the National Conference of Agriculture for Rabi Campaign-2014 held at NASC Complex, Pusa, New Delhi, Indian agriculture minister, Radha Mohan Singh (pictured) said, banks are providing strong credit support to the agriculture sector and a target of $131 billion has been set for agriculture credit during 2014-15.
Further, under the Interest Subvention Scheme for short term crop loans, the banks are extending loans to farmers at a concessional rate of 7 per cent. The farmers get a further incentive of 3 per cent for timely repayment, Singh said.
Singh also proposed to provide finance to 500,000 joint farming groups of Bhoomi Heen Kisan (Land Less Farmers) through National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in the current financial year.
Very large number of landless farmers are unable to provide land title as guarantee, institutional finance is denied to them and they become vulnerable to money lenders’ usurious lending, Singh stressed.
Singh said, food grains production during 2013-14 as per fourth advance estimates released on August 14, 2014 was estimated at 264.77 million tonnes, against 257.13 million tonnes produced during 2012-13. The credit for increased level of food grains production goes to the hard work of our farmers.
Cotton, jute and sugarcane are amongst the main cash crops in India and during the year 2014-15 the government has approved implementation of Crop Development Programme under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) (Commercial Crops) by following Cropping System Approach to encourage farmers to improve productivity of these crops. This would be possible through use of proper crop rotation, multiple cropping systems, intercropping, etc, Singh opined.
Minister also recalled that Indian finance minister in the Budget Speech 2014-15 has rightly proposed to make farming competitive and profitable by stepping up of investment, both public and private, in agro-technology development and creation and modernization of existing agri-business infrastructure.