The Agriculture Marketing Board of Maharashtra (MSAMB) has begun its Agriculture Produce Pledge Finance Scheme for cashew, betelnut and rice farmers of Kokan region in Maharashtra. Rates have been revised by the marketing board to encourage more farmers to take advantage of the scheme.
The APMCs maintain this pledged stock free of cost. The farmers can sell their produce when the prices are higher. Under the scheme, the farmer gets agricultural pledge loan up to 75 percent of the value of the produce prevailing in the market, an interest rate of 6 percent . The farmer is allowed to avail this facility up to a period of 180 days.
MSAMB has revised rates for the scheme by Rs.20 per quintal to Rs.100 per quintal. Betel nut has also been included in the scheme of mortgages at a rate of Rs. 100 per quintal, Maharashtra Marketing Minister Subhash Deshmukh said. The scheme will be implemented in 10 market committees such as Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Bhiwandi, Murbad, Shahapur, Mahad, Mangaon, Pen, Roha and Murud next year, for the crops including Cashew, betelnut and rice. An allocation of Rs.3.10 crore has been made for this purpose. MSAMB has been holding awareness meetings with cashew farmers in the region under the guidance of manager Dr. Bhaskar Patil and Madhukar Dalvi, Chairman, Ratnagiri Agricultural Produce Market Committee.
The scheme, which has been started in nearly 10 market committees of Kokan region, will offer pledge finance for cashew nut, betel nut and rice and nearly crore is expected to be disbursed among farmers, Sunil Pawar, Executive Director, Marketing Board said. Until now, around 14 farmers have pledged nearly 72.68 lakh tonnes for the first time. He said Rs 72.68 lakh was disbursed to the farmers.
MSAMB has been implementing the scheme of pledge loan for the benefit of farmers of Maharashtra since 1991.The scheme of pledge loan is available for Moong, Tur, Udad, Soyabean, Paddy, Sunflower, Safflower, Gram (Chana), Jawar, Bajra, Maize, Wheat, Ghewda (Rajma), Turmeric, Regime (Bedana), Cashew nuts and Betel nuts (Supari). Under the scheme, a farmer can store his produce in warehouses of APMC and can immediately get 7 5 percent of the cost of his produce at an interest rate of 6 percent . In addition, a farmer can avail the pledge loan facility by storing the produce in the godowns of State Warehousing Corporation or Center Warehousing Corporation.