Karnataka to increase agriculture lending in cooperative sector

Women collect greens growing on a dry lake bed on the outskirts of Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: MANJUNATH KIRAN

Karnataka has increased the target for agriculture lending in cooperative sector by about 14% this financial year over 2020-21 to help farmers who are in distress due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said on Monday that ₹20,810 crore will be lent to nearly 31 lakh farmers during this year, an increase of 13.97% over 2020-21 when a total of ₹17,901 crore had been disbursed to about 26 lakh farmers. The Chief Minister explained while 30.26 lakh farmers will receive ₹19,370 crore in short-term loans at the rate of zero per cent interest, about 60,000 farmers will receive ₹1,440 crore mid-term and long-term loans at 3% rate of interest.

He was speaking at Raitha Spandana in Bengaluru, at the launch of agriculture loan disbursal, organised by Bengaluru District Central Cooperative Bank.

In 2020-21, agriculture loan amounting to ₹17,901 crore had been disbursed, about 114 % higher than the target. While about 25.6 lakh farmers had received about ₹16,641 crore as short-term loans, about 52,000 farmers had received ₹1,260 crore as mid-term and long-term loans.

“We have kept a higher target keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind. We are a pro-farmer government. Agriculture, health and education are priority for us,” Mr. Yediyurappa said.

The government had set a target to provide ₹1,400 crore loan to about 40 lakh self-help groups of which about 6,700 groups had received ₹233.33 crore by the end of May.

The government, Mr. Yediyurappa said, is aware of the problems of farmers and other groups on account of COVID-19. “That is why repayment period in the cooperative sector has been extended by three months. This will benefit 6.17 lakh farmers and about 8.15 lakh members of 65,000 SHGs,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that 930 godowns across Karnataka, managed by Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS), are being repaired at a cost of ₹316 crore under the Atma Nirbhar programme of the Centre.

₹6.4 crore has been approved to build godowns with a storage capacity of 2,500 metric tonnes in 18 PACS in Ramanagaram, Bengaluru Rural and Urban districts, he added.

Cooperation Minister S.T. Somashekar was present at the event.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 8:56:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-to-increase-agriculture-lending-in-cooperative-sector/article34887285.ece

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