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Over 1 Lakh Farmers to Receive Agricultural Loans, 3 Lakh to Join Cooperatives

While addressing managing directors of Central Cooperative Banks at Apex Bank Auditorium in Jaipur on Monday, Principal secretary (cooperatives) Shreya Guha stated that by March 2023, 1.29 lakh new farmers will receive crop loans totaling Rs 233 crore, and 3.71 lakh new farmers will join cooperative societies and be connected to agricultural loans

Ayushi Sikarwar
farmer
A farmer working in his field (File Image)

While addressing managing directors of Central Cooperative Banks at Apex Bank Auditorium in Jaipur on Monday, Principal secretary (cooperatives) Shreya Guha stated that by March 2023, 1.29 lakh new farmers will receive crop loans totaling Rs 233 crore, and 3.71 lakh new farmers will join cooperative societies and be connected to agricultural loans.

At the meet, she also instructed the Apex Bank's managing director to hold a weekly review of distribution of crop loans as well as the new farmer members associated with the co-cooperative societies.

Guha added that giving out agricultural and midterm loans to qualified farmers should also be a priority, while also making it easier for farmers to obtain these loans by utilizing NABARD programmes so that their local requirements can be satisfied.

According to her, 26.92 lakh farmers have received interest-free crop loans worth Rs 12,811 crore as of November 25.

Crop Loans by NABARD

Central and state governments are putting in efforts to connected the crop producers with agri-business model i.e. businesses related to agriculture. For this, Agri Clinic-Agri Business Center Scheme is also being run, under which NABARD and other financial institutions give loans at cheaper rates.

By taking advantage of this programme, farmers can operate agriculture start-ups or other related businesses in addition to farming. The best part is that before the subsidies and agribusiness begins, the government also provides 45 days of skill-based training to the farmer who has applied.

Agri Clinic and Agri Business Center Scheme

Earlier, farmers used to be able to obtain loans from nation's cooperative banks only for projects linked to agriculture. Taking out loans for projects other than agriculture used to be very challenging, but now one may get a financial aid between Rs 20-25 lakh from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to start an agricultural business.

The central government also provides an interest subsidy of 36 to 44 percent in order to lessen the burden of loans under this scheme. The key features of the scheme include:

1. If a group of five applicants submits an application under this programme, a loan of up to Rs 1 crore can be provided

2. This programme offers a 45 days of skill training to qualifying farmers, young entrepreneurs, and professionals

3. According to the rules, applicants from the general category receive a 36 per cent interest subsidy, while the SC-ST and women candidates receive a 44 per cent interest subsidy.

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