BHUBANESWAR, JULY 12
Applauding NABARD’s role as a Development Finance Institution in the field of agriculture and rural development, Union Petroleum and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed optimism that the apex development bank would play a catalytic role in doubling farm income by 2022.
“In order to achieve the goal of doubling of farmers’ income by 2022, the Union Government has initiated schemes like E-NAM. Hence, all the Agri-marts, registered mandis, RMCs set up in the State must link themselves to e-NAM portal to reap the benefits,” Pradhan said while speaking at the 37th Foundation Day function of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) Odisha Regional Office here today.
“With the increase in MSP in major crops there is fear of inflationary trend in the economy. But, we have to make a balance between the welfare of the farmers and health of the economy. Hence, there is a need to go for massive value-addition in agriculture to tackle the twin problem,” the Minister added.
While congratulating NABARD on its achievement in increasing its balance sheet size to more than Rs.4 lakh crore from a level of Rs.0.04 lakh crore in 1982 when NABARD came into existence, Pradhan urged banks to strive to ensure, under the leadership of NABARD and RBI, an eco-system in Odisha where problems relating to farmers and small entrepreneurs can be addressed by effectively implementing various schemes of Government of India and State Government and initiatives like MUDRA loan, Farmers Producers Organisations etc.
He suggested that bank officials should interact with the farmers and rural populace in vernacular languages regarding the schemes and other benefits provided by both Central and State Governments. As majority of population totally depend on agriculture based activities, there is immense scope for the banks to broad base agriculture lending in the State, the Union Minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, NABARD CGM Dr. KC Panigrahi highlighted the major achievements of NABARD in the State of Odisha and apprised the gathering about the initiatives taken by NABARD in providing credit support and implementing various developmental and promotional programmes since 1982 as well as during 2017-18. While appreciating the excellent cooperation extended by the State Government, banks, development agencies and other stakeholders, he listed out the priority areas for NABARD during the current year, which includes augmentation of rural credit, formation and functioning of Producers’ Organizations and raising farm income through building partnerships. During the year 2017-18, NABARD has extended a total credit support of over Rs 17,195 crore in the State as well as involved itself in the State in the whole process of credit planning and monitoring, he said.
RBI Regional Director Mahesh Kumar Mall appreciated the success of NABARD in contribution to the development of rural infrastructure and growth in agricultural credit for Odisha.
SBI Bhubaneswar Circle Chief General Manager Praveena Kala lauded the role of NABARD and assured that SBI would be associated with NABARD in implementation of rural development projects.
Souvenir “NABARD in Odisha–2017-18” was released by the dignitaries during the programme.
On this occasion, awards were given by NABARD to the best-performing SHGs, JLGs, Farmers’ Clubs, Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), NGOs and Banks.