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Govt Focuses on Policy to include Small, Marginal Farmers into Institutional Credit System

Nikita Arya
Nikita Arya

Maharashtra’s Agriculture Minister Dadasaheb Bhuse has advised the district agriculture centers to come up with a Kharif plan to provide farmers easy access to seeds and fertilizers. While policies are been made regarding it, some officials working with farmers in the underdeveloped regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada have given a serious thought about the financially-weaker, small and marginal farmers. Many small and marginal farmers have been forced to take up daily wage labor during the lockdown to earn a livelihood. Bringing such farmers back into the institutional credit system is the government’s concern.

The Maharashtra government schemes out to disburse crop loan worth Rs 74,000 crore in FY20-21. While bringing loan schemes, the government also realizes the need to bring small and marginal farmers into the fold of the credit system.

According to an official, the government must provide a special economic package to aid small and marginal farmers. First of all, every farmer in this segment would have to be brought within the institutional credit system and their debts need to be waived. They should be given an adequate loan to cover the input expenditure for farming. Without concrete measures, 40-45 percent of farmers will be forced to take up daily wage work on bigger farmlands or explore alternative jobs.

“A uniform agriculture package for big, medium and small farmers will defeat the objective and favor only farmers with larger landholdings and other financial support systems,” the official added.

In a report, the former CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “Though it is effective to make farmers debt-free, crop loan waiver is not the lasting solution… To believe a one-time loan waiver will end the agriculture crisis or stop farmers’ suicide will be wrong. A holistic approach, with greater financial and logistic support, targeted for sustainable farming for small and marginal farmers is necessary.”

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