Agriculture credit outflow is increasing every year and in the current financial year the target is Rs. 11 lakh crore. Close to 50-60 percent of credit outflow is targeted to reach small and marginal farmers which is a positive sign but we need to monitor where is this money going.” Ashish Bhutani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, today expressed this while addressing a national conference on ‘Enhancing Credit Flow to Agriculture’ organised by FICCI.
“There is a need for a convergence among various entities involved in farmer-related initiatives as gaps in transmission impacts implementation of such schemes,” the senior bureaucrat said.
He said, “States have to come on board in order to synergise and sync all the issues to form a comprehensive plan to ensure that small and marginal farmers are brought under the ambit of institutional credit system.”
Addressing the conference, R Amalorpavanathan, Deputy Managing Director, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) said, “There is a need for integrated financing system for the farmers. Ultimately, credit is a function of trust and distress emanates from the squeezing of the profits of the farmers.”
Dr. BB Pattanaik, Chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), Government of India, said that warehousing can be a game-changer in improving profits of the farmers. “Huge private sector participation has helped in creating high-end, mechanised storage system for the agriculture sector”, he said.
He also informed that WDRA has a seamless online process for registering a warehouse, “Only those warehouses that plan to issue negotiable warehouse receipts, have to register with WDRA. But for proper remuneration to farmers, there has to be as many registered warehouses as possible”.
Pravesh Sharma, Advisor – Agriculture, FICCI, in his address, said that agriculture in India is rapidly commercialising, but without risk mitigation, more than three-fourths of the farmers rely on the informal market for credit which provides credit at higher interest rates. “Of small and medium farmers, which comprise 86 percent of total farming population, only 15 percent have access to institutional credit”, he added.