National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) celebrated its 39th Foundation Day on 12th July. Over the years it has played an important role with the support of Government of Gujarat and other stakeholders in creating an excellent rural infrastructure and developing rural financial institutions in Gujarat.
It has tirelessly endeavoured to bring smile on the faces of farmers and rural people through its various interventions like SHGs, JLGs, Farmers’ Clubs, Farmer Producers’ Organisations, Watershed projects, Tribal Development Projects and others.
During 2019-20, NABARD Gujarat Regional Office extended financial assistance of Rs.15342.63 Crore including a disbursement of Rs.2860.93 crore for creation of rural infrastructure in the State.
During the last more than 100 days of the Current Financial Year, NABARD Gujarat has taken various initiatives to combat the challenges thrown by COVID 19:
- Financial Inclusion : –Ten Mobile Vans with ATMs mounted on it were provided to RRBs and DCCBs from Financial Inclusion Fund of NABARD. These Vans have helped banks in distribution of cash in remote villages of the State during lockdown period. Rs. 126 lakh was sanctioned to various banks in the State for 218 Micro ATMs and 1634 PoS/MPoS machines to take banking at doorstep of customers in remotest areas of the State. Rs 247 lakh was also sanctioned to banks in the State for Financial Literacy drive during 2020-21 so far.
- Collectivisation of Farmers’ produce: – To nurture and support the collectives of farmers in the State, 51 new Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) have been formed with NABARD assistance during 2019-20 taking the total of NABARD assisted FPOs in the State to 191. In order to provide direct marketing opportunities to the FPOs and Artisans, various initiatives like Buyer-Seller meet , Sahyog Mela, Capacity Building Programs of CEOs and BODs etc were organized during the previous year.
Business Development Assistance (BDA) amounting to Rs.11.57 lakh has been sanctioned to 5 FPOs which enable FPOs to effectively market their produce and earn better price realisation of their produce. Further, as per GoI directive, 44 FPOs have been facilitated for e-NAM registration.
This will enable these FPOs to market their produce all across the country through e-NAM portal. Realising the significance of FPOs, Government of India has announced formation of 10000 new FPOs by 2023-24 and NABARD along with SFAC & NCDC will be the Implementing Agencies in this initiative.
- Support Under Special Liquidity Fund ( SLF) :- In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Special Liquidity Facility (SLF) was made available by NABARD to Cooperative Banks, RRBs and NBFC-MFIs for providing front ended liquidity support to these institutions to ensure unhindered flow of credit from banks to farmers to carry out their agricultural operations smoothly. An amount of about Rs.560 crores has been released under Special Liquidity Facility to the Gujarat State Cooperative Bank on behalf of DCCBs and another Rs.30 crore to NBFC-MFI to augment their liquidity position.
- Short Term (Seasonal Agricultural Operations) :- Refinance is provided for production purposes at concessional rate of interest to State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) by way of sanction of credit limits. NABARD has sanctioned a limit of Rs 3200 crore to GSCB on behalf of DCCBs in the State and has released refinance support to the tune of Rs.370 crores to finance seasonal agricultural activities so far.
- Assistance for the Creation of Rural Infrastructure in the State :-Under RIDF, for creation of rural infrastructure and generate livelihood in rural areas, Rs.297.77 crore has been disbursed and Rs.1118.91 crore has been sanctioned so far to the State Government during 2020-21.
- Watershed and Wadi Projects :- Total grant of Rs.78 lakh, released for Watershed and TDF-Wadi projects and most of which was during lockdown period, to enable the Project Implementing Agencies to take up works that would generate employment for the project beneficiaries left without any source of alternative employment and the reverse migrant labourers. In the process, 5825 man-days of work was executed under seven watershed development projects during current fiscal so far, during the lockdown period. An amount of Rs.11.76 lakh sanctioned for watershed project in Narmada district and two Watershed Development Projects in pre-CBP stage have also been sanctioned, one each in Surendranagar and Devbhumi Dwarka Districts.
- Skill Development for Rural Youths :- To promote an entrepreneurial culture among the rural youth and encouraging them to start enterprises in the rural off-farm sector , an amount of Rs.18.30 lakh has been sanctioned for Livelihood and Enterprise Development as also for Micro Enterprise Development projects covering 480 women from 343 SHGs in 17 villages.
- Arrangements for sell of SHGs’ products:- Rural Marts sanctioned by NABARD to overcome the problem of SHGs in marketing their products were also selling masks and together with NGOs, they spread the awareness to safeguard against Pandemic Covid – 19. The Regional Office facilitated sale of vegetables and other essential items by FPOs in several societies of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, etc during lockdown. FPOs were also involved in the preparation and distribution of face masks.
- Training, production and marketing of masks and sanitizer:- NABARD arranged to conduct several training programmes in its Tribal development and watershed development project areas on masks stitching and preparation of soap/sanitizer.
Several awareness programmes were also conducted in these areas on Corona Virus for the benefit of the rural and tribal population. Large number of SHGs have been roped in by various district level State Government departments for supply of masks in large numbers.