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AGRICULTURE

Stress on convergence to ensure better implementation of farm initiatives
Friday, 27 April, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
There is a need for convergence among various entities involved in farmer-related initiatives as gaps in transmission impacts implementation of such schemes. This observation was made by Ashish Bhutani, joint secretary, Union ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare, while addressing—Enhancing Credit Flow to Agriculture—a national conference organised here recently by FICCI.
 
"Agriculture credit outflow is increasing every year and in the current financial year the target is Rs 11 lakh crore. Close to 50-60% of credit outflow is to small and marginal farmers which is a positive sign but we need to monitor where is this money going," added Bhutani.
 
"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," he stated.
 
Next to speak at the conference, R Amalorpavanathan, deputy managing director, NABARD, said that there was 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," he said.
 
Post the views over profits, Dr B B Pattanaik, chairman, Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA), Government of India, stated that warehousing could 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 informed that WDRA had 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."
 
Further, in his theme address, Pravesh Sharma, advisor, agriculture, FICCI, said that agriculture in India was rapidly commercialising, but without risk mitigation, more than three-fourths of the farmers rely on the informal market for credit which provided credit at higher interest rates. "Of small and medium farmers, which comprise 86% of total farming population, only 15% have access to institutional credit," said Sharma.
 
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