Khariff 2016: Prioritise finance for cash crops, Govt tells Collectors

Bhubaneswar: Setting a crop loan target of Rs 6,000 crore for the ensuing Kharif season, the Odisha government has asked Collectors of all the districts to give priority to financing pulses, oilseed, potato and other cash crops.

“Financing of remunerative commercial crops and seasonal horticulture crops for which market is really available should be given priority and a special drive may be taken for the purpose,” the Cooperation department directed in a letter to the Collectors.

To ensure adequate availability of fertilisers to the farmers, it has asked the primary agriculture credit societies (PACS) to be sensitised to stock adequate quantities of fertilisers in their godowns sufficiently ahead so that there is no shortage of fertilisers at the time when the farmer needs it most.

“Government has provided a corpus fund of Rs 75 crores to MARKFED to ensure timely prepositioning and supply of fertilisers,” it said.

The government has also asked the authorities to extend credit facilities to SHGs, including women’s groups.

“Short term credit facility needs to be extended to Self Help Groups including women’s groups, tenant farmers and oral lessees. Organisation and credit linkage of Joint Liability Groups should be encouraged for agricultural and allied agricultural operations following the guidelines issued by NABARD,” the letter read.

The crop loan investment target for ensuing Kharif season has been fixed at Rs 6,000 crore. However, the target will be given separately by the Stat Level Bankers Committee in case of Commercial Banks and Regional Rural Banks.

During last Kharif season, as against the target of crop loan dispensation of Rs 5500 crores, cooperatives had disbursed Rs 5077.41 crores to 17,34,847 farmers while Commercial Banks, including Regional Rural Banks had financed Rs 2955.29 crores to 5,04,569 farmers.