There should be timely availability of credit to farmers during kharif: Sarangi
Bangalore: Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Umesh Chandra Sarangi on Wednesday stressed the need for enhancing the credit potential in the State by at least by Rs. 10,000 crore in 2010-11 over the previous year’s Rs. 27,543 crore.
NABARD’s regional office has estimated a credit flow potential at Rs. 31,254.74 crore for 2010-11.
Speaking at the “State Credit Seminar–2010-11” here, Mr. Sarangi said agricultural term loan should be increased by Rs. 2,000 crore (from the projected Rs. 4,667 crore) and the total from Rs. 31, 254.74 crore to Rs. 37,000 crore.
He said banks should take steps to ensure easy access and timely availability of credit to farmers during the 2010 kharif season.
Crop loans of farmers affected by floods would be rescheduled. These credit estimates provided the basis for preparation of district credit plans by lead banks in each district, he said.
The share of crop loan formed 45.6 per cent of the total potential estimated, followed by other priority sectors at 28.5 per cent, agricultural term loan at 14.9 per cent and non-farm sector at 11 per cent, according to a focus paper.
The seminar is a forum consisting of State Government departments, banks and other development agencies, to discuss the NABARD-prepared State Focus Paper (SFP) that contained the aggregation of exploitable potential, estimated for all districts of the State for 2010-11.
Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary, Finance, M.R. Sreenivasa Murthy said the potential estimated for the agricultural term loan was rather inadequate to stimulate growth in the sector and sought it to be raised to at least Rs. 7,000 crore to Rs. 8,000 crore.
He said the State’s GDP was Rs. 2.8 lakh crore, while the share of the farm sector constituted just 17 per cent (Rs. 50,000 crore). The average growth of Gross Domestic Product and agricultural growth of the State during the 10th Five Year Plan were 7.2 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, below the all-India average of 7.8 per cent and 2.5 per cent respectively. Gujarat had registered 9.6 per cent growth in the agricultural sector, he said.
Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath said farmers faced difficulties in 14 districts following the floods in September-October.
Coffee production was also affected owing to erratic rainfall in Kodagu and Chikmagalur districts, he said.
The share of the agricultural sector in the State GDP was not high on account of low growth rate in the farm sector and there was need to accelerate it in the Eleventh Five Year Plan, he said.
Venkatesh Tagat, Chief General Manager, regional office, NABARD, M.V. Patrao, General Manager, regional office, and top officials of the government attended the seminar.