Nabard makes serious bid at doubling farmers’ income

The Central government has raised the capital of Nabard by six times to Rs 300 billion to help it increase its lending to the rural economy, according to a report by the PTI. This is aimed at doubling income of farmers.

Nabard’s capital becomes Rs 50 billion from Rs 30 billion. NABARD’s stress on boosting the long-term loan segment through refinance resulted in improved growth this year with refinance outstanding touching Rs 1,22,688 crores, reflecting a 17 % growth, claims a press release from the co-op banks’ l lender.

It bears recall that the government in the Budget had enhanced the corpus of the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIFD) to Rs 280 billion with an overall objective of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Meanwhile, New Indian Express adds from Bengaluru that NABARD in collaboration with Bengaluru and Dharwad centres of University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) has come up with an integrated farming model wherein farmers can get regular income even during drought. This is to help farmers in distress and reduce farmer suicides.

The integrated farming model entails setting up smaller parallel businesses like poultry, pisciculture, aquaculture, fisheries, shrimp farming, and similar things on farm lands, which can continue even during periods of drought to ensure steady income when regular crops fail.

Nabard claims to have expanded its activities in the current year. As against the target of Rs 10.00 Lakh Crore, actual agri credit flow during 2017-18 stood at Rs 10.46 Lakh Crore  as on 28 February 2018.

NABARD’s refinance played a catalytic role in the ground level credit flow. Its total refinance disbursements of Rs. 1,45,061 (Long term: Rs. 65,240 Cr.+ Short term: Rs. 79,821 Cr.) were about 14 % of the total ground level credit. In case of RRBs and Cooperative Banks, the same was nearly 55% of their total disbursements.

A significant development this year was diversification of NABARD’s client base with loan disbursements of Rs. 3900 Crore to Small Finance Banks and Rs. 2794 Crore to NBFCs/ NBFC-MFIs.

Financing a variety of rural infrastructure projects Nabard has emerged as one of the most dominant themes of rural India’s growth. Over the last four years, we have defined our role as an important stakeholder in infra financing sector in rural India.

Its outstanding loans under RIDF and LTIF touched Rs.1,30,509 Crore during the year. Alongside, NABARD took significant strides in providing direct infrastructure loans benefiting rural areas.

Cooperative Banks witnessed significant progress in their transition to digital banking during the year 2017-18 with 350 Cooperative Banks supported by NABARD for onboarding to RuPay Kisan Card (RKC) platform as on 31 March 2018. These banks issued 1.76 Crore RKCs during the period. RRBs increased their tally to 1.13 Crore in FY 2017-18, claims Nabard.

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